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Implant Packaging for Next-Generation Neurotechnology
Keywords: implantable, connector, feedthrough
Today's leading applications of implantable neurotechnology use interfaces, which are carefully engineered for the different anatomical targets, leads, and hermetic enclosures that contain electronics for the implantable pulse generator (IPG). Some leading neurotechnology-implant applications, such as deep brain stimulation (movement disorders) and spinal cord stimulation (pain), incorporate a battery into the IPG to enable long-term mobile use, as well as one or more low-channel-count (8 channels) connectors to enable the IPG to be replaced without disturbing the electrode-tissue interface. Other leading applications, such as cochlear implants (deafness) and retinal prosthetics (blindness), use battery-free IPGs that are individually attached to a high number of electrodes (20 to 60 channels) through direct and permanent bonds to the lead for every individual channel. Advances driven by high-channel-count microfabricated electrode arrays will enable next-generation implantable neurotechnology to interface with more tissue via more channels and at greater resolution. However, significant packaging challenges present barriers to the successful development, demonstration, and translation of small-size and yet higher-channel-count/density next-generation implantable neurotechnology. Although there exist approaches to achieve the even higher feedthrough densities, higher-channel-count/density implantable connectors do not exist and no solid approaches to develop them have been proposed. In this paper, we review of current state of implantable packaging for neural applications, described current efforts to improve it, and propose strategies to advance it further for next-generation applications requiring higher channel counts and densities.
Jack W. Judy, Institute Director
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida
United States

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