Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Varadan, V.K., 1943-

Abstract

Miniaturized multi-electrode arrays are MEMS devices that have found use as neural prosthetics (Neuro-MEMS). As implants they can interface with neurons as sensors or actuators and help compensate for loss of sensory input, motor control, or cognitive function. The micro-electrodes, studied here, were developed in-house. They have a vertically aligned gold nanowire array and are mounted on a sturdy fine gauge titanium needle. Hence, the bill of materials and design characteristics encourage its use as neural probe. For this study, a probe was tested in vivo for signal acquisition in the hippocampus of a Rattus Norvegicus (Sprague Dawley Rat). Using an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approved protocol, the neural probe was deployed in the CA1 region of the hippocampus of a sedated rat. The signal was obtained as voltage against time and it was filtered for isolated spikes of neural activity, which were sorted in form of a Spike Train-Raster Plot. The qualitative evaluation of data, obtained through the newly developed neural probe, was used as ground work to decide on future research and discuss possible clinical impacts.

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