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A Novel Inductive Simultaneous Wireless Information and Power Transfer System to Neural Dust Implants for Reverting Blindness

Fabio Asti

A Novel Inductive Simultaneous Wireless Information and Power Transfer System to Neural Dust Implants for Reverting Blindness.

Rel. Danilo Demarchi, Sandro Carrara, Paolo Motto Ros, Gian Luca Barbruni. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Elettronica (Electronic Engineering), 2021

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Nowadays, the technological impact is becoming more and more significant, playing an essential role in the diagnosis and the treatment of human diseases. An innovative solution is the emerging concept of “Smart Dust”, introduced for the first time at the UC Berkeley. Smart Dust research investigates the feasibility of future real-time diagnostic and therapy medicine. The two challenging branches are “Body Dust” and “Neural Dust”. Body Dust research aims at a new concept of shrinkable and drinkable electronics which can flow through the human blood for real-time monitoring. Neural Dust aims at a new generation of safely powered devices, micron-sized and freely distributed in the human brain, targeting and treating mental disorders and neuropathologies. Among the others, Neural Dust approach can be used to fight against Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and blindness. Blindness is a medical condition which affects more than 39 million people worldwide. Some of these patients may be treated or operated while the remaining part, represented by 55.7%, is affected by incurable and unpreventable diseases. Several prosthetic approaches were proposed over the last years. Retinal prostheses showed the best performances in the clinical trial on patients affected by outer retinal layer dystrophies, such as retinitis pigmentosa or dry age-related macular degeneration. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned diseases affect only a small fraction of blind patients worldwide, less than 7%. Recently, cortical visual prostheses have shown a tremendous impact on the future of neural implant since they might address every form of blindness. Miniaturisation and large-scale distribution are key factors for the next generation cortical visual prostheses. The whole project aims to develop an array of thousands, free-floating, ultra-miniaturised and wirelessly powered CMOS-pixels to selectively stimulate the visual cortex of the human brain to restore vision. The idea is to replicate the common path of a safe visual system. First, the video camera records the images. Second, the external base station transmits simultaneously power and data to the neural implants. Third, once the single-pixel stimulates the brain, the phosphene perception is induced at a precise spatial location. This thesis proposes a novel radio-frequency simultaneous wireless information and power transfer system for Neural Dust application. The radio-frequency transmitter operates at 433.92 MHz of the industrial, scientific and medical band. The new proposed structure efficiently modulates the carrier exploiting an amplitude-shift keying modulation and reaching a data rate as high as 20 Mbps together with a variable modulation index as low as 8%. The complete system has been designed, manufactured and tested. Results highlight the feasibility to transmit a carrier signal at 433.92 MHz, combining power transfer with a novel amplitude-shift keying modulation structure. The final system has been compared with the present state-of-the-art showing one of the highest data rate while maintaining robustness and gain. In the future, this transmitter will be further optimised and integrated on a printed circuit board, ready to be used with the next generation cortical visual prostheses to revert blindness.

Relators: Danilo Demarchi, Sandro Carrara, Paolo Motto Ros, Gian Luca Barbruni
Academic year: 2020/21
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 116
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Elettronica (Electronic Engineering)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-29 - ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING
Ente in cotutela: École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (SVIZZERA)
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/17920
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