Passive Wireless Multi-Channel Stimulator

Passive, wireless stimulators have received significant interest due to their ability to provide therapy and rehabilitation by targeting an organ with monophasic or biphasic stimulation pulses. Wireless stimulators are advantageous because they reduce the risk of infection and inflammation by eliminating wires that protrude through the skin. Extending the operation of wireless stimulators from single-to multi-channel improves their spatial diversity, however, it complicates the circuit design, increases active current consumption and requires the use of active components to process a selective wake-up signal.
Researchers at The Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University have developed an ultra-low-power wireless, multi-band stimulator which combines RF energy harvesting and wake-up functionalities for on-demand and selective activation of a specific stimulation channel. This stimulator does not require a battery to operate, and it relies on passive components to harvest energy from the wireless signal. It also utilizes a small number of active components to turn on a stimulation channel upon reception of a wake-up signal.
This stimulator utilizes simple and scalable architectures to achieve selective channel activation without requiring complex or power-hungry processing.
Potential Applications
  • Electrical stimulation of a target organ
    • Heart
    • Brain
    • Other organs
Benefits and Advantages
  • Multi-channel stimulator that uses passive and minimally active components
    • Allows spatial and temporal diversity
  • Simple and scalable architecture
  • Ultra-low-power
    • Does not require a battery, which is difficult in implantables
  • Wake-up functionalities for on-demand and selective activation without requiring complex or power-hungry processing
    • Only contains three active components which can be powered through the harvested RF energy
    • Active components automatically turn off after stimulation and remain off until the next stimulation
    • Eliminates the need for digital processing, clocking, multiplexing, and advanced communication protocols for selective channel activation
For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see