US power transfer & communication for implantable devices
Traditionally, active implants are powered by batteries, which, when discharged, have to be either replaced or recharged by a wireless power link. Power can be transferred wirelessly in the acoustic domain through ultrasound (US). While US can yield similar power levels as more established power transfer methods, such as inductive coupling, it can reach smaller and deeper implants without electromagnetic interference. Additionally, the FDA-allowed power intensity for ultrasonic waves is orders of magnitude higher than electromagnetic fields when concerning implants with mm-sized power-receiving apertures. Furthermore, active implants often need to transfer information back, for example, sensor data or status information, which can also be achieved through a US link.
The Technologies for Bioelectronics Group investigates the advantages that US has to offer for powering active implantable devices, explores the potential of commercially available and newly designed US transducers, and introduces new data transferring schemes.