With such devices, scientists were able to control rodent.
The device, dubbed StimDust, is the smallest, most effective to date Wi-Fi electronic “artificial nerve”. At least so say the developers of this device, the researchers from the University of California at Berkeley. In their work they used a safe and miniature electronics, making the device StimDust can be attributed to the class of so-called “neural dust” to the devices of submillimeter sizes, driven by wireless technologies, which fully replicate the functionality of the nerve tissues of living organisms. And devices such as not hard to guess, used in medicine, in prosthetics and in scientific research.
The device has a volume of 6.5 cubic millimeters and operates wirelessly, using ultrasonic vibrations. This device can artificially stimulate nerve activity, and the efficiency is 82% at level supplied to the device power 4 microwatt.
“StimDust is the smallest implantable stimulator of nervous activity. It can work with almost all types of neural tissues of the peripheral nervous system that provides a very broad scope of application for therapeutic purposes,” says Ricky Mueller (Rikky Muller), senior researcher – “This device can be a link to broken or damaged neural circuits. In addition, it can replace dysfunctional neural circuits and nodes unable to produce signals that will stimulate other nerves and organs of the body of a living being”.
The structure of the device StimDust include only necessary components. The piezoelectric crystal acts as an antenna for outside signals, and provides the system with the energy necessary for its operation. This energy is accumulated in the capacitor, and controls the operation of the system tiny chip, the size of which does not exceed one millimeter. On the basis of the device are electrodes that touch the surface of nerve cells. To ensure the operation of the device StimDust has developed a special wireless Protocol to allow programming the functionality of the device within a wide range, despite its very modest size and built-in resources.
During testing, the device StimDust scientists were able to control the movement of limbs in experimental rodent. And further work in this direction will allow to create a truly intelligent device that will allow people to get rid of some specific diseases, such as asthma, epilepsy and chronic pain.