A microwave powered injectable neural stimulator.

Bruce C. Towe, Patrick J. Larson, Daniel W. Gulick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


An unexpectedly simple implantable device that can achieve wireless neurostimulation consists of a short 1 cm long dipole platinum wire antenna, a Schottky diode, and a pulsed microwave transmitter. Fabricated into a 1 cm long by polyimide tubing, the implant can have a sub-millimeter diameter form factor suited to introduction into tissue by injection. Experiments that chronically implant the device next to a rat sciatic nerve show that a 915 MHz microwave transmitter emitting an average power of 0.5 watts has an ability to stimulate motor events when spaced up to 7 cm from the body surface. Tissue models consisting of saline filled tanks show the possibility of delivering milliampere pulsed current to neurosimulators though 5 centimeters or more of tissue. Such a neurostimulation system driven by microwave energy is limited in functional tissue depth by microwave SAR exposure. This report discusses some of the advantages and limitations of such a neurostimulation approach.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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