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Effects of neurostimulation via a suprachoroidal vision prosthesis

Microelectronic vision prostheses aim to restore visual percepts through electrical stimulation of the surviving visual pathways in the blind. Electrical stimulation has been shown to produce spots of light in the visual field. A neurostimulator that forms the basis of a vision prosthesis was designed using a high voltage CMOS process to allow it to be able to stimulate when faced with high electrode-tissue impedances. It was implemented with novel features that allow it to be scalable, and to focus charge injection, and can stimulate multiple sites simultaneously using a current source and sink at each site. To reduce electrical cross-talk between multiple stimulation sites, six-return electrodes surround each stimulating electrode, electrically guarding them from each other. The six-return electrode configuration was shown to reduce electrical cross-talk in saline bath tests compared to single-return electrode configurations. The neurostimulator was used to evoke responses from cats through electrical stimulation via intravitreal ball electrodes, corneal electrodes, and planar electrode arrays in the suprachoroidal space. Responses were measured on the visual cortex through optical imaging of intrinsic signals, and through surface electrodes. Using the planar electrode array in the suprachoroidal space, responses were elicited to biphasic, bipolar and monopolar stimuli, with each stimulating electrode coupled with either six-return electrodes, two-return electrodes, or a single-return electrode. The average charge threshold to elicit a response for biphasic, bipolar stimulation with six-return electrodes was 76.47 ?? 8.76 nC (standard error of the mean). For biphasic, bipolar stimulation, the magnitude and area of cortical response with the six-return electrode configurations was on average 2.18 ?? 0.19 times smaller than single-return electrode configurations, and 1.89 ?? 0.19 times smaller than two-return electrode configurations (P < 0.0001). It was also found that for biphasic stimulation, a greater magnitude and area of response was elicited for monopolar stimulation compared to bipolar stimulation. This dissertation details the design and testing of a novel, scalable neurostimulator to focus charge injection. It also shows that suprachoroidal, bipolar stimulation can elicit visual responses, and that the area of cortical activation was more focused when using bipolar, biphasic stimulation, and six-return electrodes.
Date January 2009
CreatorsWong, Yan Tat, Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UNSW
PublisherPublisher:University of New South Wales. Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering
Source SetsAustraliasian Digital Theses Program
Detected LanguageEnglish

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