Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Damon A. Miller

Second Advisor

Dr. Bradley J. Bazuin

Third Advisor

Dr. Frank L. Severance

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis describes the firmware and software design for a prototype electrophysiology experimentation system. The overall system, built on the work of previous students and developed with fellow graduate student Mr. Donovan Squires, provides eight channels of acquisition and four channel of arbitrary waveform generation for stimulation of biological systems. In order to show the performance of the system, a common electrophysiology experiment was performed on the giant axon of an earthworm and the results were compared to previously validated systems. The developed system is intended to support future work at the Neurobiology Engineering Laboratory at Western Michigan University.

The user of the system is provided high-level control, experimentation scripting, and data visualization through use of a custom PC application. Real-time operations, such as data capture using an analog-to-digital converter and stimulation waveform output to a digital-to-analog converter, are implemented with a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). Domain specific support for -10mV to 10mV acquisition levels and differential waveform generation between -15V to 15V is provided via a custom printed circuit board when utilizing previously developed amplification and filtering circuitry.