Design of a polarization based neural stimulator

University of Pennsylvania
Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering
1. Project Title:
Convert invisible to be visible – Design of a polarization based neural stimulator
2. Proposer's Name: Jan Van der Spiegel, Milin Zhang
[email protected] and [email protected]
Are you willing and able to serve as advisor for this project? _x__ Yes; ___ No
3. Brief Project Description:
Neuroprosthetic systems are used to restore lost functions of a sensory modality, such as hearing where
a cochlear implant is used. Recent studies show that in addition to restoring the function of a primary
sensory area, it is also possible to stimulate a functional area in the brain to dramatically change the
behavior response. These studies open the possibility to restore preexisting functions. This work is in
collaboration with researchers at the medical school to develop scheme that introduces invisible
information in light (i.e. Polarization) into rat’s neural system.
4. Project Design Objectives:
A compact, real-time polarization imaging system as well as a wearable brain stimulator is expected to
be built. The polarization information will be extracted from captured frames of a polarization imager.
Real-time signal processing will be performed on the raw data to generate proper signals for the
stimulator. This will be used in experiments (under the guidance of neuroscientists) where the rat’s brain
is stimulated to help it navigate inside a swimming pool.
5. Project Prerequisites:
What specific knowledge (e.g. courses or topics) and skills (e.g. programming languages or software
packages) will this project require? Please rank order the knowledge and skills you have identified, with
the most important at the top of the list.
Fundamental understanding of circuit design. The project relies heavily on the techniques
learned in ESE 216, 319, 350 and preferably also 572
Hardware application implementation skill (microcontroller coding)
GUI implementation skill (Visual C preferred)
Image data processing/analysis skill (Matlab/mathematic preferred)
PCB development skill. A good understanding of analog circuit design will be very help.