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Assembly and Packaging of a Wireless, Chronically-Implantable Neural Prosthetic Device
Keywords: bio-medical packaging, hermetic sealing, bio-compatible materials
There is a growing need for bio-compatible devices that electrically stimulate or record signals from neural tissue. Such neural prosthetic devices enable treatment of chronic neurological disorders such as deafness, blindness, spinal cord injury, and brain-related diseases. Most current research focuses on the neural interface, with percutaneous devices that are tethered to the patient. Though such technologies are critical to understand neurological disorders, they do not offer a viable path to clinical use. This work presents a fully wireless, chronically-implantable neural prosthetic with a high-density electrode array for stimulation in the spinal cord, to restore function to neurologically-impaired patients. The assembly and packaging uses processes that have been custom-developed for chronic implantation. The neural prosthetic consists of three main components " the electrode array that interfaces with neural tissue, the hermetically sealed electronics package, and a wireless data and power telemetry system. The electrode array consisting of 121 electrodes is microfabricated with bio-compatible materials. The miniature electronics package consists of a bio-compatible high-density feedthrough substrate brazed to a metal can into which the electronics are assembled using a combination of flip-chip bonding, stencil printing, wire-bonding, stud-bumping, and epoxy attachment and underfilling. The power and data telemetry antennas are externally attached to the electronics package. In the upcoming months, the devices will be tested in-vitro, and will eventually be implanted into the spinal cord of an animal model. The objective of this work is to develop a clinical treatment for micturition, or bladder control, to help patients with paralysis or neurological-impairment. ---- Prepared by LLNL under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344, LLNL-ABS-529731 -----
Kedar G. Shah, Biomedical Microsystems Engineer
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, CA

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