Neuralaxy's NeuroStimDuino Brings Neurostimulation to the Arduino Hobbyist

I2C add-on can generate biphasic, rectangular, and constant current stimulation pulses within FDA-set safety limits.

Gareth Halfacree
5 months ago β€’ Health & Medical Devices

UPDATE (3/16/2021): Neuralaxy has now launched the NeuroStimDuino campaign on Crowd Supply, asking for $250 for a single board with lead wires compatible with off-the-shelf hydrogel-based stimulation electrodes. For those who are looking for a ready-to-run system, the electrodes are available separately for $40 - though in either case, batteries are not included.

The boards are expected to begin shipping at the end of July this year.

The original article continues below.

Neuralaxy is looking to bring neurologic stimulation technology to hobbyists with the impending launch of the NeuroStimDuino neurostimulation Arduino shield.

"Neurostimulation is the application of short electrical pulses on the surface of the skin to stimulate underlying nerves and muscles," the company explains. "In the last several decades neurostimulation has been used to stimulate muscles of patients with stroke and spinal cord injury, in order to assist and restore movement in their paralyzed limbs (also called Functional Electrical Stimulation or FES therapy)."

"NeuroStimDuino overcomes the challenges of delivering neurostimulation by providing an open source stimulator in the form of an Arduino shield. It is designed for students, researchers, and hobbyists alike, to help them explore neuroscience by studying the effects of neurostimulation on muscle contraction."

The NeuroStimDuino offers an I2C interface to two or more neurostimulation output channels. (πŸ“Ή: Neuralaxy)

The shield itself is based on an I2C interface and is designed for use with Arduino microcontroller development boards like the Arduino Due β€” though should be equally compatible with anything that can talk I2C. The shield includes two independent output channels with stacking support for adding additional channels, and built-in safety systems designed to keep the output power within guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Once set up, the NeuroStimDuino can generate biphasic, rectangular and constant current stimulation pulses under user control β€” including adjustment of frequency, pulse width, and amplitude. The software control also includes selection of symmetrical or asymmetrical waveforms, switching the anodic phase of the stimulation pulse between equal and unequal amplitudes compared to the cathodic phase.

Neuralaxy is looking to fund production of the board via Crowd Supply, but those interested in backing the project should pay heed to the company's warning: "This instrument is intended for RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY," Neuralaxy states. "It is not intended for clinical or animal use. Neuralaxy LLC does not assume responsibility for injury or damage due to the misuse of this instrument."

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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