Fully integrated light-sensing stimulator design for subretinal implants

Hosung Kang, Wajahat H. Abbasi, Seong Woo Kim, Jungsuk Kim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper presents a fully integrated photodiode-based low-power and low-mismatch stimulator for a subretinal prosthesis. It is known that a subretinal prosthesis achieves 1600-pixel stimulators on a limited single-chip area that is implanted beneath the bipolar cell layer. However, the high-density pixels cause high power dissipation during stimulation and high fabrication costs because of special process technologies such as the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor CMOS image sensor process. In addition, the many residual charges arising from the high-density pixel stimulation have deleterious effects, such as tissue damage and electrode corrosion, on the retina tissue. In this work, we adopted a switched-capacitor current mirror technique for the single-pixel stimulator (SPStim) that enables low power consumption and low mismatch in the subretinal device. The customized P+/N-well photodiode used to sense the incident light in the SPStim also reduces the fabrication cost. The 64-pixel stimulators are fabricated in a standard 0.35-µm CMOS process along with a global digital controller, which occupies a chip area of 4.3 × 3.2 mm 2 and are ex-vivo demonstrated using a dissected pig eyeball. According to measured results, the SPStim accomplishes a maximum biphasic pulse amplitude of 143 µA, which dissipates an average power of 167 µW in a stimulation period of 5 ms, and an average mismatch of 1.12 % between the cathodic and anodic pulses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number536
    JournalSensors (Switzerland)
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This research was partially supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (Grant No. NRF-2017M3A9E2056461) and the Gachon University Gil Medical Center (Grant No. 2016-16).

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


    • Digital controller
    • Ex-vivo demonstration
    • High-density pixels
    • Implantable device
    • Light sensor
    • Photodiode
    • Subretinal prosthesis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Analytical Chemistry
    • Information Systems
    • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
    • Biochemistry
    • Instrumentation
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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