Author

Essenburg

Date of Award

12-2019

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Damon A. Miller

Second Advisor

Dr. Steven Durbin

Third Advisor

Dr. John Jellies

Keywords

Intracellular, electrometer, neuron, stimulation, device

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

The Western Michigan University Neurobiology Engineering Laboratory conducts re- search in energy-efficient electrical stimulation of biological neurons. Experimental work re- quires an intracellular electrometer to inject nanoamp-level currents into a biological neuron and to measure its membrane voltage response. In order to fully understand the generation of such minute currents, an `in-house' electrometer was designed, constructed, and validated. This required exploration of various design trade-offs including precision of generated nanoamp-level currents vs. susceptibility to noise, portability vs. functionality, and cost vs. functionality. The electrometer was successfully used to stimulate and measure responses of neurons from the medicinal leech Hirudo verbana.

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