Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Engineering - Biochemical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Robert B. Szlavik


In 1882, Sydney Ringer, a professor of medicine at University College in London, experimented with the frog ventricle to better understand how each constituent of blood influences contraction. The ultimate goal was to create an artificial circulating fluid to use for the perfusion of isolated organs, in this case, a frog heart. Today, Ringer’s solution is still used in research for physiological studies requiring the survival and maintenance of specimens outside of their host bodies. One such example is the use of medicinal leech ganglia for electrophysiological measurements. In this thesis, I am comparing two Ringer’s solutions, original versus added glucose, and their impact on the longevity of the ganglia. By stimulating cells in the dissected ganglia submerged in Ringer’s solution with a micropipette, action potential responses can be recorded and used to compare longevity of the cells in each solution. By providing the dissected ganglia with an additional source of fuel, I hypothesized that cells in the glucose-enriched Ringer’s solution would live longer, and thus provide action potentials longer, than cells in regular Ringer’s solution with a minimum increase in longevity of thirty minutes. Data analysis showed that glucose Ringer’s solution did not keep the cells alive longer than regular Ringer’s solution when the difference of means was set to 30 minutes. However, data did show a significant difference in the average longevity of the Retzius cell in glucose Ringer’s solution versus regular Ringer’s solution when the difference of means was set to zero.