Pulse Parameter Modulation for Neural Cell Stimulation

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Electrical stimulation has been used for over two centuries to modulate the activity of various human physiological systems, especially the nervous system. An electrical pulse, typically in a square wave, is applied to the tissue to activate neural cells in the region. This type of stimulation is effective at achieving good neural stimulation but the system experiences a high type of resistance called impedance at the electrodes, increasing the power requirements and introducing more noise into the system.

Purdue University researchers have developed a novel method of designing stimulus waveforms called Pulse Parameter Modulation (PPM). By pulsing the electric signal at the right rate the neurons respond the same way as they would to a continuous pulse with less impedance. This means that less power is needed to achieve the same effects, which will increase the lifespan of battery-powered implants and allows smaller stimulation electrodes with higher spacial locality. The pulsing can also be utilized to more selectively activate certain neuron populations (i.e. A, B, or C fibers) based on their activation levels and time constants.
Jul 12, 2013
Utility Patent
United States
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Jul 12, 2012
Provisional-Patent
United States
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DIV-Patent
United States
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