Neural interfacing using visible light communication

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Inst of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sci


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Description Wireless neural experiments increasingly require the transmission of large amounts of neural data but are limited due to the bandwidth of current techniques. In this project, we demonstrated a scalable system in a compact package, capable of transmitting neural information at high data rates (11.2 Mbps), using visible/IR light communication. Two LEDs (625nm and 850nm) were used to transmit neural data and a synchronizing clock line to a pair of photodetectors. Total weight of the device including battery is 5g, however this can be potentially reduced to <3.5g using thinner/flexible PCBs. The operational time of the device is 3.5h on a full charge. In vivo experiments in the neocortex of head-fixed mice were carried out, successfully transmitting 32 channels of uncompressed neural data at 20 kHz sampling from a distance of 20 cm. Simultaneous optogenetic stimulation with an optical fiber (450 nm) was also carried out and demonstrated no interference from non-data transmitting light sources. This device extends the toolkit for high-throughput neuronal recording.
In addition to this, we performed a market research to evaluate commercialization potentials of our novel device. We have identified a number of partnering or sales opportunities in the short and long term.
Exploitation Route Two approaches are possible: first, by securing a fund, we would spin out a company to distribute our devices as widely as possible. Primary targets would be academic researchers. Second, developing the second generation of our device will allow to increase the bandwith as well as to reduce the weight. Thereby, users can adopt this technology in a wider setting.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology