Engineers from the Monash Vision Group (MVG) have begun trialling the ASICs for a direct-to-brain visual prosthesis that is expected to enter human clinical trials in 2014. The prosthesis will consist of a tiny camera mounted into a pair of glasses, which acts as the retina; a pocket processor, which takes the electronic information from
Magnetic reed switches are used in active implantable medical devices as a simple way of placing the device in a known operational mode when a programmer is not available. For example, placing a magnet on a pacemaker sets it to VVI mode with a manufacturer-specified set of parameters. In other devices (e.g. implantable cardioverter/defibrillators), placing a
Micro Systems Technologies Offers Active Implantable Medical Device Development/Manufacturing Services
Micro Systems Technologies (MST) is the vertically-integrated supplier of microelectronics and implantable-grade components to Biotronik. It now offers its development and manufacturing services to others. Through its companies, MST offers high-reliability microelectronic modules for implantable medical devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, neurostimulators, and cochlear implants. MST can provide integrated solutions encompassing everything from conceptual design through high-volume
Today I was going through some papers and found a 2005 brochure for Biophan’s implantable biothermal source – a 3 mm-thick power source for implantable devices capable of generating electricity from body heat. This power source was being developed by Biophan in collaboration with the NASA Ames Research Center for Nanotechnology. The device is covered by U.S. Patent
Some time ago, my friend and colleague Paul Spehr gave me a copy of Arco Medical’s product catalog. I scanned the original datasheets for Arco Medical’s nuclear fixed-rate and demand pacemakers models NU-5 and NU-6 and posted them here in pdf format: Arco_Nuclear_Datasheets Click here for a color picture and more information on Arco Medical’s nuclear pacemakers.
Image Credit: Biotectix Biotectix of Ann Arbor, MI recently contacted me to let me know of new conductive polymer materials that they are developing to enhance the performance of next-gen implantable stimulation and sensing devices. Indeed, their materials sound very promising. According to Biotectix, their electrode coatings and device components are made from proprietary conducting polymers that provide
Nanowattics was founded in 2007 to provide development services of ultra-low-power application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for safety-critical applications. Nanowattics’ core team is extremelly experienced in the design of ASICs for implantable medical devices. Their designs include the main ASIC for a DDDR pacemaker, a sub-microvolt differential amplifier for electroneurographic signal acquisition, and the chipset for a
Lately I’ve received many inquiries about the paper on radiation-hardness testing of implantable integrated circuits that I published with Dr. Larry Stotts (now Executive VP R&D at Biotronik), and the late Dr. John Prince. This is because the effects of medical diagnostic and therapeutic radiation are becoming an issue of concern to physicians who often encounter
Image Credit: Freescale Semiconductor, from “Integrated Circuits for Implantable Medical Devices” An article by Steve Taranovich in the December 15, 2011 issue of EDN discussed technologies that are expected to be hot in 2012. One of these is the implantable chipset being developed by a collaborative effort between Cactus Semiconductor of Chandler, AZ and semiconductor giant
Active implantable medical devices are typically enclosed in a hermetically-sealed titanium housing which provides protection of the circuitry and other components. Commonly, Grade 1 titanium is formed into the enclosure using stamping. The pretty, rounded shapes of modern pacemakers and ICDs are achieved by having two enclosure halves shallowly stamped from sheet stock material,
EBR Systems, Inc., founded in 2003 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, is developing the WiCS® Wireless Cardiac Stimulation technology to eliminate cardiac pacing leads, historically a major source of complications and reliability issues. The startup was spun out of research by founder Debra Echt, a former professor of medicine and a cardiologist at Vanderbilt University.
Nanostim is an early-stage AIMD company in Milpitas, CA that is developing a pacemaker that can be implanted inside the heart through a catheter. The tiny device is attached directly to the heart, eliminating the need for leads. In May 2011 Nanostim announced that St. Jude Medical had made a substantial investment in the company. The company is operating in
Image Credit: University of Rochester Nuclear energy cells that converted the impact of the β-particles on a p-n junction were developed in the 1970s. One example was CCC’s atomic pacemaker, which was powered by a promethium-147 McDonell-Douglas Betacel 400. Lately, BetaBatt Inc. of Houston, TX licensed beta-voltaic technology developed at the University of Rochester to develop an
My friend, Dr. Alain Ripart – the Chief Scientific Officer at Ela Medical (now part of Sorin) showed me this interesting contraption from his personal collection. It is an experimental glucose-powered pacemaker developed in the 1970s. It generated electricity by acquiring its fuel (glucose) directly from a living body to generate enough current to charge two NiCd cells
Barouh Berkovits at American Optical Co of Boston, MA designed the first “Demand Pacemaker” – what we now know as a VVI pacemaker. As other companies in the 1970s, American Optical developed a nuclear-battery-powered version of their pacemaker. American Optical used a 3Ci Pu-238 Radioisotope Thermal Generator (RTG) produced by Fred Hittman’s Hittman Nuclear Development Corp. (Model NB-200). It consisted of a tiny 8 Ci