Wearable wireless power systems for ME-BIT magnetoelectric-powered bio implants


Compared to biomedical devices with implanted batteries, wirelessly powered technologies can be longer-lasting, less invasive, safer, and can be miniaturized to access difficult-to-reach areas of the body. Magnetic fields are an attractive wireless power transfer modality for such bioelectronic applications because they suffer negligible absorption and reflection in biological tissues. However, current solutions using magnetic fields for mm sized implants either operate at high frequencies ($\gt$500 kHz) or require high magnetic field strengths ($\gt$10  mT), which restricts the amount of power that can be transferred safely through tissue and limits the development of wearable power transmitter systems. Magnetoelectric (ME) materials have recently been shown to provide a wireless power solution for mm-sized neural stimulators. These ME transducers convert low magnitude ($\lt$1 mT) and low-frequency (∼300 kHz) magnetic fields into electric fields that can power custom integrated circuits or stimulate nearby tissue. Approach. Here we demonstrate a battery-powered wearable magnetic field generator that can power a miniaturized MagnetoElectric-powered Bio ImplanT ‘ME-BIT’ that functions as a neural stimulator. The wearable transmitter weighs less than 0.5  lbs and has an approximate battery life of 37 h. Main results. We demonstrate the ability to power a millimeter-sized prototype ‘ME-BIT’ at a distance of 4 cm with enough energy to electrically stimulate a rat sciatic nerve. We also find that the system performs well under translational misalignment and identify safe operating ranges according to the specific absorption rate limits set by the IEEE Std 95.1-2019. Significance. These results validate the feasibility of a wearable system that can power miniaturized ME implants that can be used for different neuromodulation applications.

Journal of Neural Engineering
Kaiyuan Yang
Associate Professor of ECE