Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) is a therapy providing electrical stimulation directly to the vagus nerve via surgical implantation, and is currently FDA approved for the treatment of drug resistant epilepsy and depression. Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (taVNS) has recently been explored through electrical and vibrotactile stimulation via the cymba conchae region of the ear. taVNS is still in early testing, and is showing promise as a non-invasive alternative for VNS. However, published research has shown limitations in stimulation devices and the specific sites, frequency and intensity of taVNS treatments. In this paper, a new device for vibrotactile stimulation of the cymba conchae is presented covering a range of vibration frequencies and intensities. This is the first iteration in a series of iterative prototypes of additively manufactured wearable devices with proof of concept electronics to realize this type of vibration therapy. Functionality tests of this device such as battery performance and variability of signal intensity were explored, coupled with user assessments of comfort. Initial findings have provided critical feedback for shaping the next iteration of this device, which will be designed for use in clinical evaluations of vibration therapy of the cymba conchae.

This content is only available via PDF.