The Bion® Microstimulator and its Clinical Applications

  • Todd K. Whitehurst
  • Joseph H. Schulman
  • Kristen N. Jaax
  • Rafael Carbunaru
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)


The Bion® microstimulator is a miniature leadless implantable neurostimulator designed to be implanted through a minimally invasive procedure. The small profile of the microstimulator allows it to be implanted through a small incision or by injection. Additionally, the stimulating electrodes are mounted directly on the microstimulator, which eliminates possible complications associated with the use of a lead (e.g., migration). An RF-powered version of the Bion® microstimulator was developed over a decade ago and that device has been used in feasibility clinical studies for several functional electrical stimulation (FES) applications, including shoulder subluxation and post-stroke hand rehabilitation. It has also been explored in clinical applications for knee osteoarthritis rehabilitation, obstructive sleep apnea, and pressure ulcer prevention. A version of the Bion® microstimulator with a rechargeable battery has also been developed, and the first-generation battery-powered microstimulator was used in a feasibility clinical trial for headaches. It is also being used in a clinical trial for overactive bladder. Preclinical experiments on the use of the microstimulator for gastroesophageal reflux disease have also been promising. Battery-Powered Microstimulator-sensors with bidirectional propagated wave telemetry, capable of coordinating hundreds of injectable devices for stroke and quadriplegic patients, are presently in the last stages of development.


Lower Esophageal Sphincter Pudendal Nerve Functional Electrical Stimulation Lower Esophageal Sphincter Pressure Central Controller 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Todd K. Whitehurst
    • 1
  • Joseph H. Schulman
    • 2
  • Kristen N. Jaax
    • 3
  • Rafael Carbunaru
    • 3
  1. 1.Boston Scientific NeuromodulationValenciaUSA
  2. 2.Mann Medical Research Organization, 25155 Rye Canyon Loop ValenciaUSA
  3. 3.Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corporation, 25155 Rye Canyon LoopValenciaUSA

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