Design of signal processing system for silicon based deep brain electrodes

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Dr. Bognár György
Department of Electron Devices

The use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) is commonly adopted procedure to gain better knowledge of various neurodegenerative diseases (eg. Parkinson’s, epilepsy or depression), as well as treating them. It became possible in present day technological advances to detect and stimulate brain signals via silicon-based microelectrodes planted directly into the brain tissue. A system developed for this purpose allows for regulation based on brain activity. Such a system can further expand the pool of neurotechnological tools and their usefulness into pre-clinical studies that are currently active. The basic purpose of this work is the realization and testing of a self-developed compact interface circuit that is able to preprocess the electric potential signal of silicon-based deep brain electrodes developed by the MTA EK MFA (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre of Energy Research, Institue of Technical Physics and Materials Science). In addition, it allows the regulation of the (electric, optic or thermic) stimulus parameters of the same micro-tool.

Today’s expectations towards electrophysiological experiments include being able to monitor the nervous system’s activity in animals that are free to move around. Our task, then, is the design and creation of a RF communication-based, low consumption telemetric system which is able to forward digitalized signals of biopotential sensors to a remote receiver unit which then filters and visualizes the received signal flow on a self-developed computer user platform. (Additionally, it is equipped with a PID controller configurable from the PC, which later can be used for active regulation in case of hardware updates.)

After the research and the prototypization we were successful in designing a device weighing less than 3 grams overall and having under 1.5 cm^3 brutto volume, which may now be suitable for measurements conducted on living mice, with over 6 hours of endurance under active measurement. We received help in many ways from the biologists of the MTA and optimized the system in cooperation to make it usable effectively.


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