"Neuralaxy’s NeuroStimDuino is an open-source Arduino shield that allows students, researchers, and hobbyists to study the effects of neurostimulation on muscle contraction easily and cheaply."
Neurostimulation is the application of short electrical pulses to the surface of the skin for the purpose of stimulating the underlying nerves and muscles. In recent decades, neurostimulation has been used as part of a treatment called Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) therapy to help restore mobility in the paralyzed limb muscles of stroke victims and those who have suffered spinal cord injuries. While carrying out research in areas such as pain reduction and sensory feedback, scientists have also used neurostimulation to study the effect of electrical current on neurons.
Historically, the delivery of neurostimulation has required the purchase of expensive, research-grade equipment or the expensive, time-consuming construction of custom hardware. NeuroStimDuino provides an open-source alternative in the form of an Arduino shield.
NeuroStimDuino was designed to help anyone with an interest in neuroscience—students, researchers, and hobbyists alike—to study the effects of neurostimulation on muscle contraction. It comes with an I²C interface through which external microcontroller boards like the Arduino Due can be used to generate different stimulation patterns and control other aspects of its operation. Each NeuroStimDuino shield has two independent output channels, which can be used to alternate the contraction of flexor and extensor muscles or to contract various muscles simultaneously. By stacking multiple shields, additional output channels can be made available.
Note: A single output channel on NeuroStimDuino is capped at 25 mA, which is sufficient to contract small muscles but insufficient to contract large ones. Large muscles can be contracted by combining the two output channels of NeuroStimDuinos in parallel.
NeuroStimDuino is a platform technology with many possible applications. It can be used to conduct research on how neurostimulation affects pain management and the restoration of mobility to paralyzed extremities. It can also provide sensory feedback to amputees and stimulate the transcutaneous vagus nerve to study the effects of neurostimulation on depression, arthritis, and other conditions.
WARNING: This instrument is intended for RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY. It is not intended for human or animal use. Neuralaxy LLC does not assume responsibility for injury or damage due to the misuse of this instrument.
|Max. Current Output||+/- 25 mA||105 mA||+/- 10 mA|
|Compliance Voltage||+/- 72 V||105 V||+/- 48 V|
|No. of Output Channels||2||2||1|
|Additional output channels possible by stacking||Yes||No||No|
|Onboard Current Measurement||Yes||No||No|
For instructions and video tutorials on the placement of stimulation electrodes to evoke various muscle contractions, please refer to Electrode Placement & Functional Movement, courtesy of Dr. Lucinda Baker, Associate Professor (retired) at the University of Southern California and Axelgaard Manufacturing Co., Ltd. For NeuroStimDuino software and design files, please see our GitHub repository. If you have questions, you can reach us using the Ask a technical quesiton link on our campaign page.
NeuroStimDuino PCBs will be manufactured, assembled, programmed, and tested in India. We have also negotiated pricing for larger batches in case there is sufficient interest to justify runs of 50 or more boards. We will purchase accessories (cables, electrodes, and battery holders) from an online vendor and package them alongside the NeuroStimDuino boards.
We will provide NeuroStimDuino boards and accessories to Crowd Supply, whose fulfillment partner, Mouser Electronics, will handle the final shipment to backers, including export compliance and customs logistics for international orders.
We have mitigated manufacturing risk by only using components that can be easily sourced from Mouser or Digikey. Furthermore, as you can see in our campaign video, we have already produced a small lot of (ten) production units so we could test their performance. While we have decided to manufacture the boards in India, we have also run the BOM through vendors in China in case there are any COVID-19 related holdups in India. As things stand, pandemic-related lockdowns have been lifted, and Indian assembly houses are operating normally.