Implantable Electrical Cabling and Interconnects

Period of Performance: 06/15/2002 - 06/30/2003


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Microconnex Corporation
34935 SE Douglas St., Suite 200
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
Principal Investigator


In this Phase II SBIR effort, MicroSound Systems proposes to develop flexible implantable electrode and interconnect structures based on flexible printed wiring technology and Liquid Crystal Polymer dielectric materials. Implants for biological monitoring and neurological stimulation could potentially benefit millions of people suffering from a wide range of physiological conditions, including impaired hearing or vision, diabetes, and epilepsy. Additional applications include intracranial pressure and cerebral blood gas monitoring, and patient monitoring, for tracking parameters such as heart rate. This new technology utilizes leading-edge multi-layer flexible printed wiring fabrication techniques, including laser micromachining, thin films, plasma processing, and advanced photolithography techniques. In the Phase I effort, Liquid Crystal Polymer multi-layer high density interconnect flexible circuits with fine-scale features were fabricated. And MicroSound is now closer to demonstrating that the technology is capable of producing an "implant ready" circuit. In the Phase II effort, MicroSound will continue to aggressively push the development of this technology. Development of a fabrication process for making a prototype electrode array for a cochlear implant will continue, and our efforts will be expanded to include a retinal implant, patient monitoring, and some non-implant medical applications such as ultrasound imaging. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: MicroSound's enabling implant cabling technology is seen as being essential for cochlear and retinal implants and similar devices, which together represent a market exceeding $200 million annually. This technology is also important for implantable and non-implanted patient monitoring products (for tracking pressure, gases, or fluids), and other medical non-implant applications such as ultrasound imaging, for which the total of the aggregate markets is in the billions of dollars.