Multi-functional Chip Development, Make The Innovation Of The Next Generation Of Implants

11 Oct

In collaboration with Boston Scientific, the Microelectronic Circuits Centre Ireland (MCCI) an EI/IDA funded Technology Centre hosted at Tyndall National Institute, has developed an innovative multi-function programmable electronic chip designed to enable heart pacemakers that can be smaller, more efficient and more convenient for patients.


The nano-watt power biomedical Integrated Circuit (IC) includes power management, a flexible microprocessor interface and therapy monitoring, that supports pacemaker and neuro-stimulation therapy applications. The prototype chip also incorporates a novel instrumentation amplifier to allow pacemaker devices to more effectively sense bio-potential signals.

“We have combined the pacemaker and other novel circuits into a single chip in order to make them smarter, more sensitive and more power-efficient, in addition to reducing form factor” explains Donnacha O’Riordan, MCCI Executive Director. “The programmable Integrated Circuit uses separate channels on a single chip for sensing the activity of the heart and for setting the pace of beating. This research will enable smaller implantable pacemakers in the future, which would result in less invasive procedures to implant them and the devices would need to be replaced less frequently, firmly establishing MCCI as a center of excellence for bio-medical microelectronics research.”

MCCI and Boston Scientific collaborated on the research program through a two-year Innovation Partnership supported by Enterprise Ireland and led by Gerry McGlinchey and Dr Ivan O’Connell at MCCI.

“The project has brought together the engineering and circuit-design expertise at MCCI and the medical and scientific expertise of researchers at Boston Scientific,” said Mr O’Riordan. “We look forward to building on this relationship in the next phase of our collaboration with Boston Scientific.”

Michael Keane, Process Development Director, Boston Scientific Clonmel, commented: “The relationship with MCCI has enabled a unique and accessible model of access to leading circuits design research, talented researchers and a flexible, business-like IP model. The bio-medical circuits research capability in MCCI is now a critical part of securing and growing Boston Scientific’s R&D presence in Ireland.”