Hardware

The TRANSFORM DBS system is comprised of three subsystems for closed loop stimulation of the brain. The three subsystems are (1) a Satellite with attached electrode components, (2) a Hub processing unit, and (3) a Base Station. The Satellite subsystems are hard-wired to the electrodes, which receive electrical signals from the brain and provide stimulation to the brain.  Electrodes come in three forms:  (1) electrocorticography arrays have contacts that record signals from the surface of the brain; (2) micro-electrode arrays are arrays of small shanks that record signals just below the surface of the brain; (3) and, deep brain stimulation electrodes which record signals from deep structures within the brain. All three electrode types can also electrically stimulate the tissue with which they interface.  The Satellites contain electronic circuits to amplify the signals from the brain, some preliminary signal processing capabilities, and circuits to route stimulation signals to the electrodes.  The second component, the Hub, contains the processing and energy storage for the system and can connect to as many as five Satellites.  The processing elements in the Hub perform further signal processing on the amplified brain signals, interpret those signals for closed-loop control, and generate the electrical stimulus waveforms that are routed back to the Satellites.  In addition, the Hub can store signals for later use in a device similar to a USB flash memory.

To optimize the effectiveness of the implanted device, its processing elements are reconfigurable to allow researchers to modify the operation of the device to experiment with different algorithms for the analysis of the signals from the brain and the subsequent delivery of stimulus. That re-configurability will also let clinicians upgrade a clinical device's processing as more sophisticated algorithms become available, giving patients earlier access to innovative therapies.

Because the Satellites and the Hub are implanted under the scalp, they must communicate via telemetry with external devices.  The Base Station is the third component of the system and is responsible for providing wireless data transmission and wireless power to the Hub to re-charge the implant's battery as needed.  The Base Station contains a more powerful processor, which is also reconfigurable, to allow for an additional level of analysis to be done on the neural data from the brain. We envision that as patients connect to the Base Station for recharge, it will also use that greater processing capability to re-calibrate the "neural decoding" algorithms stored in the Hub, keeping the device's performance stable despite changes in the patient's brain activity. It is only necessary to connect the Base Station to the patient’s device during data transfer sessions or if the energy storage device in the Hub needs to be replenished. For most of the day, the device will be able to operate off the Hub's battery, giving patients the freedom to work, move about a city, or do anything else they desire.