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Method of Providing Frequency Reference for an Implantable Miniature Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033182D
Publication Date: 2004-Nov-30
Document File: 5 page(s) / 61K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present disclosure relates to delivering a stable frequency reference from an incoming signal such that wireless communication can be accomplished with an implantable miniature device or microstimulator. The space limitations of a microstimulator restrict using a conventional quarts or other stable time base from which to derive stable references for communicating with the miniature implantable device. By using an incoming signal as a phase-lock reference, the embedded communication circuits within the microstimulator can operate on a separate frequency separated by a convenient amount from the inbound signal with the same stability as that signal. The incoming signal can come from the inbound communication signal, power supply or battery charging signal, or both and be used as a phase-lock reference to stabilize the frequency. Wireless communication with the microstimulator is then accomplished to perform the stimulation function or any other programmed function.

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Method of Providing Frequency Reference for an Implantable Miniature Device

Background

                    The present disclosure relates to delivering a stable frequency reference from an incoming signal such that wireless communication can be accomplished with an implantable miniature device.

                    An example of an implantable miniature device is a microminiature implantable electrical stimulator, referred to herein as a microstimulator, and known as the BION® microstimulator, which has been developed to overcome some of the disadvantages of traditional leaded systems.  The standard BION device is a leadless microstimulator.  The implantable pulse generator and the electrodes have been combined into a single microminiature package.  A standard configuration of the BION device is a cylinder that is about 3 mm in diameter and between about 2 and 3 cm in length.  This form factor allows the BION device to be implanted with relative ease and rapidity, e.g., via endoscopic or laparoscopic techniques.  With this configuration, the BION device consists of only two electrodes: a reference, or indifferent, electrode at one end and an active electrode at the other end.  In addition, with this configuration, electrical signals delivered to nerves travel away from the stimulation location along the nerve fibers in both directions.

                    A typical microstimulator is intended to permanently remain in the body of a patient once it is implanted.  Hence, transcutaneous communication between an implantable stimulator and an external device may be important for the stimulator to function properly.  For example, communication with the implantable stimulator may be effected to perform a number of functions including, but not limited to, transferring power to the stimulator, transferring data to and from the stimulator, programming the stimulator, and monitoring the stimulator’s various functions.  To accomplish the transcutaneous communication function of the microstimulator it is also critical to stabilize the frequency used for such wireless communication.

Description

                    Stable frequency references are difficult to incorporate into a microstimulator due to its size limitations.  Such frequency references are required to permit wireless communication with the microstimulator and to comply with regulatory requirements.             

An example of the microstimulator used with the present disclosure possesses one or more of the following properties, among others:

1.                  at least two electrodes for applying stimulating current to surrounding tissue;

2.                  electronic and/or mechanical components encapsulated in a hermetic package made from biocompatible material(s);

3.                  an electrical coil or other means of receiving energy and/or information inside the package, which receives power and/or data by inductive or radio-frequency (RF) coupling to a transmitting coil placed outside the body, thus avoiding the need...