Minimally Invasive Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator Enabled by ECG Sensor and WPT to Manage Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Fen Xia,Hanrui Li,Yixi Li, Xing Liu,Yankun Xu,Chaoming Fang, Qiming Hou, Siyu Lin, Zhao Zhang,Jie Yang,Mohamad Sawan


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A hypoglossal nerve stimulator (HGNS) is an invasive device that is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) through electrical stimulation. The conventional implantable HGNS device consists of a stimuli generator, a breathing sensor, and electrodes connected to the hypoglossal nerve via leads. However, this implant is bulky and causes significant trauma. In this paper, we propose a minimally invasive HGNS based on an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor and wireless power transfer (WPT), consisting of a wearable breathing monitor and an implantable stimulator. The breathing external monitor utilizes an ECG sensor to identify abnormal breathing patterns associated with OSA with 88.68% accuracy, achieved through the utilization of a convolutional neural network (CNN) algorithm. With a skin thickness of 5 mm and a receiving coil diameter of 9 mm, the power conversion efficiency was measured as 31.8%. The implantable device, on the other hand, is composed of a front-end CMOS power management module (PMM), a binary-phase-shift-keying (BPSK)-based data demodulator, and a bipolar biphasic current stimuli generator. The PMM, with a silicon area of 0.06 mm2 (excluding PADs), demonstrated a power conversion efficiency of 77.5% when operating at a receiving frequency of 2 MHz. Furthermore, it offers three-voltage options (1.2 V, 1.8 V, and 3.1 V). Within the data receiver component, a low-power BPSK demodulator was ingeniously incorporated, consuming only 42 mu W when supplied with a voltage of 0.7 V. The performance was achieved through the implementation of the self-biased phase-locked-loop (PLL) technique. The stimuli generator delivers biphasic constant currents, providing a 5 bit programmable range spanning from 0 to 2.4 mA. The functionality of the proposed ECG- and WPT-based HGNS was validated, representing a highly promising solution for the effective management of OSA, all while minimizing the trauma and space requirements.
obstructive sleep apnea,ecg sensor
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