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Proceedings Paper

An electronic prosthesis mimicking the dynamic vestibular function
Author(s): Andrei M. Shkel
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Paper Abstract

This paper reports our progress toward development of a unilateral vestibular prosthesis. The sensing element of the prosthesis is a custom designed one-axis MEMS gyroscope. Similarly to the natural semicircular canal, the microscopic gyroscope senses angular motion of the head and generates voltages proportional to the corresponding angular accelerations. Then, voltages are sent to the pulse generating unit where angular motion is translated into voltage pulses. The voltage pulses are converted into current pulses and are delivered through specially designed electrodes, conditioned to stimulate the corresponding vestibular nerve branch. Our preliminary experimental evaluations of the prosthesis on a rate table indicate that the device's output matches the average firing rate of vestibular neurons to those in animal models reported in the literature. The proposed design is scalable; the sensing unit, pulse generator, and the current source can be potentially implemented on a single chip using integrated MEMS technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6174, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems, 617414 (11 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.659293
Show Author Affiliations
Andrei M. Shkel, Univ. of California/Irvine (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6174:
Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems
Masayoshi Tomizuka; Chung-Bang Yun; Victor Giurgiutiu, Editor(s)

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