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Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1825; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19081825

A Novel Racing Array Transducer for Noninvasive Ultrasonic Retinal Stimulation: A Simulation Study

1
Paul C. Lauterbur Research Center for Biomedical Imaging, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China
2
Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Ultrasound Imaging and Therapy, Shenzhen 518055, China
3
Ginsburg Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, Roski Eye Institute and Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasound Transducers)
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Abstract

Neurostimulation has proved to be an effective method for the restoration of visual perception lost due to retinal diseases. However, the clinically available retinal neurostimulation method is based on invasive electrodes, making it a high-cost and high-risk procedure. Recently, ultrasound has been demonstrated to be an effective way to achieve noninvasive neurostimulation. In this work, a novel racing array transducer with a contact lens shape is proposed for ultrasonic retinal stimulation. The transducer is flexible and placed outside the eyeball, similar to the application of a contact lens. Ultrasound emitted from the transducer can reach the retina without passing through the lens, thus greatly minimizing the acoustic absorption in the lens. The discretized Rayleigh–Sommerfeld method was employed for the acoustic field simulation, and patterned stimulation was achieved. A 5 MHz racing array transducer with different element numbers was simulated to optimize the array configuration. The results show that a 512-element racing array is the most appropriate configuration considering the necessary tradeoff between the element number and the stimulation resolution. The stimulation resolution at a focus of 24 mm is about 0.6 mm. The obtained results indicate that the proposed racing array design of the ultrasound transducer can improve the feasibility of an ultrasound retinal prosthesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: racing array transducer; ultrasonic retinal stimulation; noninvasive neurostimulation; patterned stimulation racing array transducer; ultrasonic retinal stimulation; noninvasive neurostimulation; patterned stimulation
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Yu, Y.; Zhang, Z.; Cai, F.; Su, M.; Jiang, Q.; Zhou, Q.; Humayun, M.S.; Qiu, W.; Zheng, H. A Novel Racing Array Transducer for Noninvasive Ultrasonic Retinal Stimulation: A Simulation Study. Sensors 2019, 19, 1825.

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