Validation of a Portable Low-Power Deep Brain Stimulation Device Through Anxiolytic Effects in a Laboratory Rat Model

Abbas Z. Kouzani, Rajas P. Kale, Pablo Patricio Zarate-Garza, Michael Berk, Ken Walder, Susannah J. Tye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) devices deliver electrical pulses to neural tissue through an electrode. To study the mechanisms and therapeutic benefits of deep brain stimulation, murine preclinical research is necessary. However, conducting naturalistic long-term, uninterrupted animal behavioral experiments can be difficult with bench-top systems. The reduction of size, weight, power consumption, and cost of DBS devices can assist the progress of this research in animal studies. A low power, low weight, miniature DBS device is presented in this paper. This device consists of electronic hardware and software components including a low-power microcontroller, an adjustable current source, an n-channel metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor, a coin-cell battery, electrode wires and a software program to operate the device. Evaluation of the performance of the device in terms of battery lifetime and device functionality through bench and in vivo tests was conducted. The bench test revealed that this device can deliver continuous stimulation current pulses of strength 200μA, width 90μs, and frequency 130 Hz for over 22 days. The in vivo tests demonstrated that chronic stimulation of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) with this device significantly increased psychomotor activity, together with a dramatic reduction in anxiety-like behavior in the elevated zero-maze test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7744659
Pages (from-to)1365-1374
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Brain
  • deep brain stimulation (DBS)
  • device
  • low-power circuit
  • miniature
  • neurology
  • preclinical
  • psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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