A CMOS Neural Interface for a Multichannel Vestibular Prosthesis

Kristin N. Hageman, Zaven K. Kalayjian, Francisco Tejada, Bryce Chiang, Mehdi A. Rahman, Gene Y. Fridman, Chenkai Dai, Philippe O. Pouliquen, Julio Georgiou, Charles C. Della Santina, Andreas G. Andreou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We present a high-voltage CMOS neural-interface chip for a multichannel vestibular prosthesis (MVP) that measures head motion and modulates vestibular nerve activity to restore vision- and posture-stabilizing reflexes. This application specific integrated circuit neural interface (ASIC-NI) chip was designed to work with a commercially available microcontroller, which controls the ASIC-NI via a fast parallel interface to deliver biphasic stimulation pulses with 9-bit programmable current amplitude via 16 stimulation channels. The chip was fabricated in the ONSemi C5 0.5 micron, high-voltage CMOS process and can accommodate compliance voltages up to 12 V, stimulating vestibular nerve branches using biphasic current pulses up to 1.45 ± 0.06 mA with durations as short as 10 μs/phase. The ASIC-NI includes a dedicated digital-to-analog converter for each channel, enabling it to perform complex multipolar stimulation. The ASIC-NI replaces discrete components that cover nearly half of the 2nd generation MVP (MVP2) printed circuit board, reducing the MVP system size by 48% and power consumption by 17%. Physiological tests of the ASIC-based MVP system (MVP2A) in a rhesus monkey produced reflexive eye movement responses to prosthetic stimulation similar to those observed when using the MVP2. Sinusoidal modulation of stimulus pulse rate from 68-130 pulses per second at frequencies from 0.1 to 5 Hz elicited appropriately-directed slow phase eye velocities ranging in amplitude from 1.9-16.7°/s for the MVP2 and 2.0-14.2°/s for the MVP2A. The eye velocities evoked by MVP2 and MVP2A showed no significant difference (t-test, p=0.34), suggesting that the MVP2A achieves performance at least as good as the larger MVP2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7105427
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2016


  • Application specific integrated circuit (ASIC)
  • electrical stimulation
  • neural engineering
  • prosthesis
  • vestibular implant
  • vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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