Purdue University Graduate School
Dissertation - Arafat.pdf (9.33 MB)


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posted on 2019-12-05, 10:57 authored by Muhammad Abdullah ArafatMuhammad Abdullah Arafat
Reliable chronic neural recording from focal deep brain structures is impeded by insertion injury and foreign body response, the magnitude of which is correlated with the mechanical mismatch between the electrode and tissue. Thin and flexible neural electrodes cause less glial scarring and record longer than stiff electrodes. However, the insertion of flexible microelectrodes in the brain has been a challenge. A novel insertion method is proposed, and demonstrated, for precise targeting deep brain structures using flexible micro-wire electrodes. A novel electrode guiding system is designed based on the principles governing the buckling strength of electrodes. The proposed guide significantly increases the critical buckling force of the microelectrode. The electrode insertion mechanism involves spinning of the electrode during insertion. The spinning electrode is slowly inserted in the brain through the electrode guide. The electrode guide does not penetrate into cortex. The electrode is inserted in the brain without stiffening it by coating with foreign material or by attaching a rigid support and hence the method is less invasive. Based on two new mechanisms, namely spinning and guided insertion, it is possible to insert ultra-thin micro-wire flexible electrodes in rodent brains without buckling. I have demonstrated successful insertion of 25 µm platinum micro-wire electrodes about 10 mm deep in rat brain. A novel micro-motion compensated ultra-thin flexible platinum microelectrode has been presented for chronic single unit recording. Since manual insertion of the proposed microelectrode is not possible, I have developed a microelectrode insertion device based on the proposed method. A low power low noise 16 channel programmable neural amplifier ASIC has been designed and used to record the neural spikes. The ability to record neural activity during insertion is a unique feature of the developed inserter. In vivo implantation process of the microelectrode has been demonstrated. Microelectrodes were inserted in the Botzinger complex of rat and long term respiratory related neural activity was recorded from live rats. The developed microelectrode has also been used to study brain activity during seizures. In-vivo experimental results show that the proposed method and the prototype insertion system can be used to implant flexible microelectrode in deep brain structures of rodent for brain studies.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Pedro P. Irazoqui

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Muhammad Ashraful Alam

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. John G. R. Jefferys

Additional Committee Member 4

Dr. Zhongming Liu

Additional Committee Member 5

Dr. Robert Worth