Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Robert Szlavik


Much work has been done to study the external stimulation of nervous tissue as well as the transmission of neural signals to electronics. Peter Fromherz was one of the pioneers in this area of electrophysiology, with a series of experiments in the 1990s that aimed to characterize and optimize the interface between neural tissue and transistors. In this thesis, Kurt Sjoberg and I interfaced a Retzius cell isolated from a Hirudo medicinalis ganglion with the insulated gate of a MOSFET. The goal was to see change in membrane potential that could be related Fromherz’s original 1991 work. Our experimental setup utilized a classic electrophysiology technique, the current clamp. After varying the amplitude of the stimulating current pulses injected via microelectrode and ensuring the tight seal of the neuronal membrane with the insulated transistor gate, we found evidence of transistor voltage change that was temporally consistent with the elicited action potential of the neuron.