Publication Date



Scientific Reports


Neuromodulation through implantable pulse generators (IPGs) represents an important treatment approach for neurological disorders. While the field has observed the success of state-of-the-art interventions, such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) or responsive neurostimulation (RNS), implantable systems face various technical challenges, including the restriction of recording from a limited number of brain sites, power management, and limited external access to the assessed neural data in a continuous fashion. To the best of our knowledge, for the first time in this study, we investigated the feasibility of recording human intracranial EEG (iEEG) using a benchtop version of the Brain Interchange (BIC) unit of CorTec, which is a portable, wireless, and externally powered implant with sensing and stimulation capabilities. We developed a MATLAB/SIMULINK-based rapid prototyping environment and a graphical user interface (GUI) to acquire and visualize the iEEG captured from all 32 channels of the BIC unit. We recorded prolonged iEEG (~ 24 h) from three human subjects with externalized depth leads using the BIC and commercially available clinical amplifiers simultaneously in the epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU). The iEEG signal quality of both streams was compared, and the results demonstrated a comparable power spectral density (PSD) in all the systems in the low-frequency band (< 80 Hz). However, notable differences were primarily observed above 100 Hz, where the clinical amplifiers were associated with lower noise floor (BIC-17 dB vs. clinical amplifiers <  - 25 dB). We employed an established spike detector to assess and compare the spike rates in each iEEG stream. We observed over 90% conformity between the spikes rates and their spatial distribution captured with BIC and clinical systems. Additionally, we quantified the packet loss characteristic in the iEEG signal during the wireless data transfer and conducted a series of simulations to compare the performance of different interpolation methods for recovering the missing packets in signals at different frequency bands. We noted that simple linear interpolation has the potential to recover the signal and reduce the noise floor with modest packet loss levels reaching up to 10%. Overall, our results indicate that while tethered clinical amplifiers exhibited noticeably better noise floor above 80 Hz, epileptic spikes can still be detected successfully in the iEEG recorded with the externally powered wireless BIC unit opening the road for future closed-loop neuromodulation applications with continuous access to brain activity.


Humans, Electrocorticography, Benchmarking, Brain, Epilepsy, Brain Mapping, Electroencephalography



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