Neural interface methods and apparatus to provide artificial sensory capabilities to a subject

Patent Number: 9,549,704
Issued: 1/24/2017
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: Embodiments of neural interfaces according to the present invention comprise sensor modules for sensing environmental attributes beyond the natural sensory capability of a subject, and communicating the attributes wirelessly to an external (ex-vivo) portable module attached to the subject. The ex-vivo module encodes and communicates the attributes via a transcutaneous inductively coupled link to an internal (in-vivo) module implanted within the subject. The in-vivo module converts the attribute information into electrical neural stimuli that are delivered to a peripheral nerve bundle within the subject, via an implanted electrode. Methods and apparatus according to the invention incorporate implantable batteries to power the in-vivo module allowing for transcutaneous bidirectional communication of low voltage (e.g. on the order of 5 volts) encoded signals as stimuli commands and neural responses, in a robust, low-error rate, communication channel with minimal effects to the subjects' skin.
Filed: 6/11/2008
Application Number: 12/136,859
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.