Wireless, battery-free, and fully implantable electrical neurostimulation in freely moving rodents

Alex Burton, Sang Min Won, Arian Kolahi Sohrabi, Tucker Stuart, Amir Amirhossein, Jong Uk Kim, Yoonseok Park, Andrew Gabros, John A. Rogers*, Flavia Vitale*, Andrew G. Richardson*, Philipp Gutruf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Implantable deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems are utilized for clinical treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain. However, long-term efficacy of DBS is limited, and chronic neuroplastic changes and associated therapeutic mechanisms are not well understood. Fundamental and mechanistic investigation, typically accomplished in small animal models, is difficult because of the need for chronic stimulators that currently require either frequent handling of test subjects to charge battery-powered systems or specialized setups to manage tethers that restrict experimental paradigms and compromise insight. To overcome these challenges, we demonstrate a fully implantable, wireless, battery-free platform that allows for chronic DBS in rodents with the capability to control stimulation parameters digitally in real time. The devices are able to provide stimulation over a wide range of frequencies with biphasic pulses and constant voltage control via low-impedance, surface-engineered platinum electrodes. The devices utilize off-the-shelf components and feature the ability to customize electrodes to enable broad utility and rapid dissemination. Efficacy of the system is demonstrated with a readout of stimulation-evoked neural activity in vivo and chronic stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle in freely moving rats to evoke characteristic head motion for over 36 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number62
JournalMicrosystems and Nanoengineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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