Wireless Neural Probe to Communicate with Distributed Nodes


Until now, neural probes required a full-device ecosystem to support probe communication, which limited the development of useful designs. Our invention uses near-field wireless communication and a flexible system architecture to simultaneously access multiple brain regions, allowing neuroscientists and clinicians to mix and match probes.

Market Opportunity

The nervous system is a complex network of functionally connected groups of cells. However, commercially available technologies struggle to probe these connected sub-domains with single-cell resolution. Despite recent innovation in neuro interfacing devices, neural probe designers often lack a robust way to communicate with their interface, and system designers target a single specific probe. Thus, there is a need for a flexible neural system that allows users to communicate easily with distributed nodes.

 Innovation and Meaningful Advantages

Our new wireless system supports implantable spatially isolated untethered self-contained nodes, each able to transmit high data rates and receive sufficient power from an epidural telemetric antenna array to support the capable electronics. Unlike with other devices, the programmable controller on each node allows the user to modify use of each probe. Each node can conduct data analysis, data compression, closed-loop stimulation, power-saving control schemes, and other algorithms that expand the system’s usefulness and can uncover new techniques for use on future neural implants. The system is also ideal for mixing different probe types to acquire diverse signals from many parts of the brain. Each self-contained node is hermetically sealed for chronic implantation, with individual package feedthroughs for each electrical channel.

The flexible electronic payload and modular architecture of our invention allow new probe designs to be easily tested without additional development; probe designers need only to bond their interface. Eventually, clinicians will be able to use the technology to implement large-scale, multimodal biological sensing and stimulation.

Collaboration Opportunity

We are interested in exploring 1) research collaborations with leading medical device companies; and 2) licensing opportunities with medical device companies.

Principal Investigator

David A. Borton, PhD

Associate Professor of Engineering

Brown University




IP Information

US Patent 11,464,964, Expected Issue Date: October 11, 2022



Melissa Simon, PhD

Director of Business Development, Life Sciences


Brown Tech ID 2555

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Brown Technology Innovations
350 Eddy Street - Box 1949
Providence, RI 02903
David Borton
Marc Powell
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