Peripheral neural activity recording and stimulation system

Daniela Loi, Caterina Carboni, Gianmarco Angius, Gian Nicola Angotzi, Massimo Barbaro, Luigi Raffo, Stanisa Raspopovic, Xavier Navarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a portable, embedded, microcontroller-based system for bidirectional communication (recording and stimulation) between an electrode, implanted in the peripheral nervous system, and a host computer. The device is able to record and digitize spontaneous and/or evoked neural activities and store them in data files on a PC. In addition, the system has the capability of providing electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves, injecting biphasic current pulses with programmable duration, intensity, and frequency. The recording system provides a highly selective band-pass filter from 800 Hz to 3 kHz, with a gain of 56 dB. The amplification range can be further extended to 96 dB with a variable gain amplifier. The proposed acquisition/stimulation circuitry has been successfully tested through in vivo measurements, implanting a tf-LIFE electrode in the sciatic nerve of a rat. Once implanted, the device showed an input referred noise of 0.83 μVrms, was capable of recording signals below 10 μV, and generated muscle responses to injected stimuli. The results demonstrate the capability of processing and transmitting neural signals with very low distortion and with a power consumption lower than 1 W. A graphic, user-friendly interface has been developed to facilitate the configuration of the entire system, providing the possibility to activate stimulation and monitor recordings in real time. © 2011 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5750065
Pages (from-to)368-379
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Bioelectronic device
  • extracellular recording
  • neural stimulator
  • neural-electronic interface


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