Neuron stimulation device integrated with silicon nanowire-based photodetection circuit on a flexible substrate

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Abstract

This paper proposes a neural stimulation device integrated with a silicon nanowire (SiNW)-based photodetection circuit for the activation of neurons with light. The proposed device is comprised of a voltage divider and a current driver in which SiNWs are used as photodetector and field-effect transistors, it has the functions of detecting light, generating a stimulation signal in proportion to the light intensity, and transmitting the signal to a micro electrode. To show the applicability of the proposed neural stimulation device as a high-resolution retinal prosthesis system, a high-density neural stimulation device with a unit cell size of 110 × 110 μm and a resolution of 32 × 32 was fabricated on a flexible film with a thickness of approximately 50 μm. Its effectiveness as a retinal stimulation device was then evaluated using a unit cell in an in vitro animal experiment involving the retinal tissue of retinal Degeneration 1 (rd1) mice. Experiments wherein stimulation pulses were applied to the retinal tissues successfully demonstrate that the number of spikes in neural response signals increases in proportion to light intensity.

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Jung, S. W., Shin, J. Y., Pi, K., Goo, Y. S., & Cho, D. I. D. (2016). Neuron stimulation device integrated with silicon nanowire-based photodetection circuit on a flexible substrate. Sensors (Switzerland), 16(12). https://doi.org/10.3390/s16122035

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