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Microelectronic Pill

Microelectronic Pill

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Published by: Lokanadh MadanamBeti on Jan 06, 2011
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A new platform of an electronic pill with bidirectional communicationsystem for miniaturized and low power biomedical applicationsMPC-Workshop July 2007
A new platform of an electronic pill with bidirectionalcommunication system for miniaturized and low powerbiomedical applications
Nidal Fawaz, Dirk JansenInstitute for Applied Research OffenburgBadstrasse 24, 77652 Offenburg, GermanyTel.: +49781205128, Email: Fawaz@fh-offenburg.de
AbstractElectronic pills, smart capsules or miniaturizedmicrosystems swallowed by human beings oranimals for various biomedical and diagnosticapplications are growing rapidly in the last years.This paper searched out the important existingelectronic pills in the market and prototypes inresearch centers. Further objective of thisresearch is to develop a technology platform withenhanced feature to cover the drawback of mostcapsules. The designed telemetry unit is asynchronous bidirectional communication blockusing continuous phase DQPSK of 115 kHz lowcarrier frequency for inductive data transmissionsuited for human body energy transfer. Thecommunication system can assist the electronicpill to trigger an actuator for drug delivery, torecord temperature, or to measure pH of the body.It consists additionally to a 32bit processor,memory, external peripheries, and detectionfacility. The complete system is designed to fitsmall-size mass medical application with lowpower consumption, size of 7x25mm. The systemis designed, simulated and emulated on FPGA.
1. Introduction
Evolution of technology in recent years opened thedoor for advanced microelectronic systems to be usedin medical treatments and diagnostic analysis. Suchsystems known as smart pills, electronic digestiblecapsules and intelligent microsystems are risingquickly in this field, they enhance the treatment ofseveral diseases (cancer, diabetes,… ) and carry outbiomedical analysis in GI tract (temperature, pH,motility, …), GI diseases affect 60-70 million peopleannually while diagnosis and treatment exceed €10Billion Euro per year.Back to four decades, Mackay invented the first radiotelemetry capsule with one transistor in 1957 and thefirst successful pH sensor capsule was achieved in1972, since then research and developments werecarried out enhancing and expanding in this field.
2. Electronic Capsules
Recent years, complicated electronic capsules withstate-of-the-art technology termed by Lab-on-chip,pharmacy-on-chip, Biochips and BioMEMS are usedto describe the recent modern capsules that performsophisticated biomedical treatment and analysis, theycan be categorized according to their function into twogroups:
Actuators as drug delivery systems
Sensors as pH, temperature, image, …Table 1 listed the capsules with their specification.
2.1. Capsules as Actuators
Drug delivery system is an issue of optimization formany interests, immediate release drug will beabsorbed in the upper part of the small intestine afterthe stomach, extended release drug is desired to beabsorbed in the lower level of the intestine.Achievement of the second by normal coating tabletsis difficult due to the complexity of the GI tract ofhuman being, intubation is an alternative solution, butit is uncomfortable for patients.Alternative solution will be of more interest, and theidea of developing swallowed capsules devices wasdemonstrated, over two decades engineers are tryingto develop different capsules with the capability tocontrol the time and the location of the drug release.The earlier capsules in this domain were HF, InteliSite,and Telemetric Capsules. They are triggered by aradio frequency (RF) pulse from a generator outsidethe body, the heat generated in the circuit will melt athread releasing a needle that pierces the containerand spells out the drug. State-of-the-art in this domainare the Enterion™ capsule and ChipRx™.
A new platform of an electronic pill with bidirectional communicationsystem for miniaturized and low power biomedical application MPC-Workshop, July 2007
Table 1:
List of Capsules with their SpecificationsThe Enterion capsule uses a piston sealed inside it,while a trigger signal is received the piston will bereleased and the drug container will be ejected outafter the filament is burnt.The above mentioned systems are pulsed type drugrelease, the drug is released at once in one location.A continues drug release is described by ChipRx,using MEMS technology several holes are circulatedaround the container providing continues moderelease system, these holes are regulated bybiological stimulis where a biosensor will be used toregulate the amount of drug needed by the patient(pharmacy-on-chip).Previous determination of the location before drugrelease is an important issue. Scintigraphy, X-Ray andradioactive compounds are used to locate the positionof the capsule. Such location schemes aren’t practical.The patient must undergo several gamma scans toidentify the location.Telemetric capsule uses a cogwheel means forlocalization. Enhancement in localization is of moreinterest and more work can be done in this domain toachieve a practical solution for position determination.
2.2. Capsules as Sensors
Monitoring the variation of temperature, pH, motilityand other functions are getting easier and comfortablefor patients. The need to collect biomedicalinformation within a specific location is of high interest,most of the existing sensor capsules don’t providelocation determination. Earlier products in this field arethe Radio Pill, BRAVO, Heidelberg and Temperaturecapsules. Almost all of them use internal battery forpower consumption. New capsules in this field are
CapsulesFreq. inMHzSizemmLocalizationPowerSupplyCompany/Institute RemarksInteliSite 6.78 35x10 Scintigraphy External Glaxo, US Pulsed releaseTelemetric 108 39x11 Cogwheel Battery Strasbourg, Fr Radioactive freeEnterion 1.8 32x12 Scintigraphy External Phaeton, UK Pulsed releaseHF Capsule 4 28x12 X-Ray External Battelle, DE Pulsed releaseGastrotarget N.A N.A. Yes Battery Uni. NY, US Dummy Unit LocalizerActuatorsDrugdeliveryChipRx N.A. N.A. No Battery Uni. Irvine, US Continues releaseTemperaturePill1 35x9 No Battery NASA, US known as NASA pillSmartPill N.A. N.A. In Progress Battery Diagnostics, US Multi-sensorsBRAVO 433 25x6 No Battery Medtronic, US Attached to EsophagusRadio Pill 0.35 22x9 No Battery Mackay, US 1st radio pill in 1957Heidelberg pH 1.9 18x8 Polarization Battery Heidelberg, DEMicrocapsule 433 23x10 Ultrasonic Battery Uni. Shanghai MEMS Tech.Tohoku pH N.A. 2x2 N.A. Battery Uni Tohoku, JP In progresspH, temp,pressureIDEAS 38 36x12 No Battery Uni. Glasglow, UK Mutli-sensorsPillCam/M2A N.A. 27x11 Image Battery Given Imaging, IL PioneerNorika 2400 23x9 Image External RF System Lab, JP State-of-the-artEndoscope 433/315 30x11 Image Battery Uni.Kyungpook, KrSensorsImageIVP 900/1 23x11 Image External IMS, DE High power transmis.
A new platform of an electronic pill with bidirectional communicationsystem for miniaturized and low power biomedical applicationsMPC-Workshop July 2007IDEAS, SmartPill and Tohoku capsules. IDEAS andSmartPill provide multi-sensors microsystem for realtime analysis.Retrieving video images from within the GI tract withwireless endoscopy was a breakthrough in year 2000,M2A from Given Imaging was the 1st to develop sucha system, later RF System Lab from Japan producedthe Norika capsule which is the-state-of-the-art in thisdomain. Another new system from IMS Stuttgart is theIVP (Intracorporeal Videoprobe).M2A/PillCam are powered by battery while Norika andIVP by external magnet field. A trade off must betaken between using battery inside the body withlimited power supply and exposing the body with RFsignal to power up the camera and LEDs.
3. “ePille” System Design
Figure 1
concept for drug deliveryFigure 1 shows the concept of the electronic pill(ePille®). It is designed to establish bi-directionalcommunication channel from-to the body, trigger anactuator for drug delivery and record temperature orpH value via temp sensor or chemical sensor.A further feature is an attempt for localization usingnear field magnetic induction method within 20 cmcircular range and having a resolution of ±1 cm.
3.1. SIRIUS Processor
The SIRIUS core (acronym for Small Imprint RISC forUbiquitous Systems) stands in performancesomewhere between the very successful architecturesof the ATMEL AVR (ATmega 8bit) , the TI MSP 430,the PicoBlaze - and well below the ARM 7/9– class of32bit machines, the LEON (SPARC), Motorola 68xxxand other 32bit architectures (NIOS II, MicroBlaze).Figure 2 shows the block diagram of the core.The processor has the following specification:
Load-Store architecture with 16bit external databus.
Figure 2
Block diagram of SIRIUS core
RISC architecture with 3 stage pipeline and 1Instruction/clock cycle and an average of 0.8MIPS/MHz performance.
16bit/32bit internal bus structure with 32bit ALUand 16x16 MPY,
Orthogonal register set of 16 registers, 12 x16bit,4 x 32bit, the 16bit universal registers may becombined to double registers and handled as 6x32bit registers.
Instruction pointer 32bit and stack pointer 32bitare part of the register set.
Stack oriented architecture with unlimited nestinglevels.
Pointers 16 bit as well as 32bit supported.
Multiplex bus system, separated 8bit IO bus andfast memory bus, all IO is connected via aseparate 8bit bus with own address space
Address space 64k or 4G depending on pointeraddressing,
Vectored hardware interrupt and software interrupt(exception)
Compact 16 bit instruction format with only threemodes
Instruction set architecture with 56 instructionsoptimized for compact C-Compilation
Netlist version made from gate primitives, able tobe mapped on every existing technology withoutusing macros.
Performance about 100 MIPS in 0.35µm CMOSand 50 MIPS in actual FPGA-technologies
Fully static, extreme low power design, allregisters made from flip-flops.
Comes with Software IDE, C-Compiler andSimulator and basic BIOS.
3.2. Communication Block
The communication block consists of anasynchronous DQPSK with 115 KHz carrier frequency,

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