Table of Contents
Advances in Electronics
Volume 2014, Article ID 981295, 21 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/981295
Review Article

Advances in Microelectronics for Implantable Medical Devices

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE, UK

Received 2 December 2013; Accepted 18 February 2014; Published 29 April 2014

Academic Editor: Sebastian Hoyos

Copyright © 2014 Andreas Demosthenous. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Implantable medical devices provide therapy to treat numerous health conditions as well as monitoring and diagnosis. Over the years, the development of these devices has seen remarkable progress thanks to tremendous advances in microelectronics, electrode technology, packaging and signal processing techniques. Many of today’s implantable devices use wireless technology to supply power and provide communication. There are many challenges when creating an implantable device. Issues such as reliable and fast bidirectional data communication, efficient power delivery to the implantable circuits, low noise and low power for the recording part of the system, and delivery of safe stimulation to avoid tissue and electrode damage are some of the challenges faced by the microelectronics circuit designer. This paper provides a review of advances in microelectronics over the last decade or so for implantable medical devices and systems. The focus is on neural recording and stimulation circuits suitable for fabrication in modern silicon process technologies and biotelemetry methods for power and data transfer, with particular emphasis on methods employing radio frequency inductive coupling. The paper concludes by highlighting some of the issues that will drive future research in the field.