Date of Award

Summer 2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Mesut Sahin

Second Advisor

Cheul H. Cho

Third Advisor

Max Roman

Abstract

Neural prosthetics are used to stimulate any remaining functional nervous tissue in order to restore function in visual, auditory, or other physiological components associated with the nervous system. Microelectrodes have been used in stimulating and detecting electrical activity in neurons. When stimulating or recording neural tissue activity using microelectrodes, there are usually many problems and difficulties in obtaining the correct functionality and results. There is great difficulty in placing these microelectrodes in a specific location in the central nervous system due to various problems with the methodology used. Many different techniques such as the traditional interconnected microelectrodes have been an arduous process and often times ineffective. A promising technique using the technology of micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) eliminates the difficulty of placing and delivering microelectrodes in desired areas. MEMS technology enables the use of micro/nanometer sized features by micromachining and microfabrication. The reduced size of the devices produced allows the development of many products used for several different applications.

Placing electrodes in the central nervous system have been a very difficult process. This thesis focuses on the design and fabrication of a microneedle that will have the capability of penetrating the neural tissue and delivering floating microstimulators pumped out by fluid through a microfluidic channel

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