Improved Charge Pump Design and Ex Vivo Experimental Validation of CMOS 256-Pixel Photovoltaic-Powered Subretinal Prosthetic Chip

Po Han Kuo*, Oi Ying Wong, Chi Kuan Tzeng, Pu Wei Wu, Chuan Chin Chiao, Po Hung Chen, Po Chun Chen, Yueh Chun Tsai, Fang Liang Chu, Jun Ohta, Takashi Tokuda, Toshihiko Noda, Chung Yu Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


An improved design of CMOS 256-pixel photovoltaic-powered implantable chip for subretinal prostheses is presented. In the proposed subretinal chip, a high-efficiency fully-integrated 4× charge pump is designed and integrated with on-chip photovoltaic (PV) cells and a 256-pixel array with active pixel sensors (APS) for image light sensing, biphasic constant current stimulators, and electrodes. Thus the PV voltage generated by infrared (IR) light can be boosted to above 1V so that the charge injection is increased. The proposed chip adopts the 32-phase divisional power supply scheme (DPSS) to reduce the required supply current and thus the required area of the PV cells. The proposed chip is designed and fabricated in 180-nm CMOS image sensor (CIS) technology and post-processed with biocompatible IrOx electrodes and silicone packaging. From the electrical measurement results, the measured stimulation frequency is 28.3 Hz under the equivalent electrode impedance load. The measured maximum output stimulation current is 7.1 μA and the amount of injected charges per pixel is 7.36 nC under image light intensity of 3200 lux and IR light intensity of 100 mW/cm2. The function of the proposed chip has been further validated successfully with the ex vivo experimental results by recording the electrophysiological responses of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) of retinas from retinal degeneration (rd1) mice with a multi-electrode array (MEA). The measured average threshold injected charge is about 3.97 nC which is consistent with that obtained from the patch clamp recording on retinas from wild type (C57BL/6) mice with a single electrode pair.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8822947
Pages (from-to)1490-1504
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • biocompatible package
  • charge pump
  • Divisional power supply scheme
  • multi-electrode array
  • photovolltaic cell


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