An optoelectronic implantable neurostimulation platform allowing full MRI safety and optical sensing and communication

Sci Rep. 2024 May 15;14(1):11110. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-61330-w.


A novel programmable implantable neurostimulation platform based on photonic power transfer has been developed for various clinical applications with the main focus of being safe to use with MRI scanners. The wires usually conveying electrical current from the neurostimulator to the electrodes are replaced by optical fibers. Photovoltaic cells at the tip of the fibers convert laser light to biphasic electrical impulses together with feedback signals with 54% efficiency. Furthermore, a biocompatible, implantable and ultra-flexible optical lead was developed including custom optical fibers. The neurostimulator platform incorporates advanced signal processing and optical physiological sensing capabilities thanks to a hermetically sealed transparent nonmetallic casing. Skin transparency also allowed the development of a high-speed optical transcutaneous communication channel. This implantable neurostimulation platform was first adapted to a vagus nerve stimulator for the treatment of epilepsy. This neurostimulator has been designed to fulfill the requirements of a class III long-term implantable medical device. It has been proven compliant with standard ISO/TS10974 for 1.5 T and 3 T MRI scanners. The device poses no related threat and patients can safely undergo MRI without specific or additional precautions. Especially, the RF induced heating near the implant remains below 2 °C whatever the MRI settings used. The main features of this unique advanced neurostimulator and its architecture are presented. Its functional performance is evaluated, and results are described with a focus on optoelectronics aspects and MRI safety.

PMID:38750033 | PMC:PMC11096369 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-024-61330-w