High-performance wireless interface for implant-to-air communications

Authors: Bahrami, Hadi
Advisor: Gosselin, BenoitRusch, Leslie
Abstract: We are working on a fully wireless brain-machine-interface to provide a communication link between the brain and external devices, enabling recording and stimulating the brain for permanent usage. In this thesis we explore channel modeling, implanted and wearable antennas as suitable propagators for this application, system level design of an implantable UWB transceiver, and circuit level design and implementing it by TSMC 0.18 um CMOS process. Also, in a collaboration project with McGill University, we designed a flexible sixteen antenna array for microwave breast cancer detection. Our first contribution calculates channel characteristics of implant-to-air UWB wireless link, average specific absorption rate (ASAR), and FCC guidelines on transmitted UWB power spectral density. Knowledge of channel behavior is required to determine the maximum allowable power to 1) respect ANSI guidelines for avoiding tissue damage and 2) respect FCC guidelines on unlicensed transmissions. We utilize a realistic model of the biological channel to inform the design of antennas for the implanted transmitter and the external receiver. Antennas placement is examined under two scenarios having contrasting power constraints. Performance of the system within the biological tissues is examined via simulations and experiments. Our second contribution deals with designing single and dual-polarization antennas for wireless ultra-wideband neural recording systems using an inhomogeneous multi-layer model of the human head. Antennas made from flexible materials are more easily adapted to implantation; we investigate both flexible and rigid materials and examine performance trade-offs. The proposed antennas are designed to operate in a frequency range of 2–11 GHz (having S11 below -10 dB) covering both the 2.45 GHz (ISM) band and the 3.1–10.6 GHz UWB band. Measurements confirm simulation results showing flexible antennas have little performance degradation due to bending effects (in terms of impedance matching). Finally, a comparison is made of four implantable antennas covering the 2-11 GHz range: 1) rigid, single polarization, 2) rigid, dual polarization, 3) flexible, single polarization and 4) flexible, dual polarization. In all cases a rigid antenna is used outside the body, with an appropriate polarization. Several advantages were confirmed for dual polarization antennas: 1) smaller size, 2) lower sensitivity to angular misalignments, and 3) higher fidelity. Our third contribution provides system level design of wireless communication architecture for implanted systems that simultaneously stimulate neurons and record neural responses. This architecture supports large numbers of electrodes (> 500), providing 100 Mb/s for the downlink of stimulation signals, and Gb/s for the uplink neural recordings. We propose a transceiver architecture that shares one ultra-wideband antenna, a streamlined transceiver working at full-duplex on both bands, and a novel pulse shaper for the Gb/s uplink supporting several modulation formats. We present an ex-vivo experimental demonstration of the architecture using discrete components achieving Gb/s uplink rates. Good bit error rate performance over a biological channel at 0.5, 1, and 2 Gbps data rates for uplink telemetry (UWB) and 100 Mbps for downlink telemetry (2.45 GHz band) is achieved. Our fourth contribution presents circuit level design of the novel full-duplex transceiver (FDT) which is presented in our third contribution. This full-duplex transceiver supports high-density and multimodal neural interfacing applications (high-channel count stimulating and recording) with asymmetric data rates. The transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX) share a single antenna to reduce implant size. The TX uses impulse radio ultra-wide band (IR-UWB) based on an edge combining approach, and the RX uses a novel 2.4-GHz on-off keying (OOK) receiver. Proper isolation (> 20 dB) between the TX and RX path is implemented 1) by shaping the transmitted pulses to fall within the unregulated UWB spectrum (3.1-7 GHz), and 2) by spaceefficient filtering (avoiding a circulator or diplexer) of the downlink OOK spectrum in the RX low-noise amplifier. The UWB 3.1-7 GHz transmitter can use either OOK or binary phase shift keying (BPSK) modulation schemes. The proposed FDT provides dual band 500-Mbps TX uplink data rate and 100 Mbps RX downlink data rate, and it is fully integrated into standard TSMC 0.18 um CMOS within a total size of 0.8 mm2. The total measured power consumption is 10.4 mW in full duplex mode (5 mW at 100 Mbps for RX, and 5.4 mW at 500 Mbps or 10.8 pJ/bit for TX). Our fifth contribution is a collaboration project with McGill University which we design single and dual-polarization antennas for wireless ultra-wideband breast cancer detection systems using an inhomogeneous multi-layer model of the human breast. Antennas made from flexible materials are more easily adapted to wearable applications. Miniaturized flexible monopole and spiral antennas on a 50 um Kapton polyimide are designed, using a high frequency structure simulator (HFSS), to be in contact with biological breast tissues. The proposed antennas are designed to operate in a frequency range of 2–4 GHz (with reflection coefficient (S11) below -10 dB). Measurements show that the flexible antennas have good impedance matching while in different positions with different curvature around the breast. Furthermore, two flexible conformal 4×4 ultra-wideband antenna arrays (single and dual polarization), in a format similar to that of a bra, were developed for a radar-based breast cancer detection system.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2015
Open Access Date: 23 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/26142
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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