Course Information

18-612: Neural Technology: Sensing and Stimulation




This course gives engineering insight into the operation of excitable cells, as well as circuitry for sensing and stimulation nerves. Initial background topics include diffusion, osmosis, drift, and mediated transport, culminating in the Nernst equation of cell potential. We will then explore models of the nerve, including electrical circuit models and the Hodgkin-Huxley mathematical model. Finally, we will explore aspects of inducing a nerve to fire artificially, and cover circuit topologies for sensing action potentials and for stimulating nerves. If time allows, we will discuss other aspects of medical device design. Students will complete a neural stimulator or sensor design project.

Although students in 18-612 will share lectures and recitations with students in 18-412, students in 18-612 will receive distinct homework assignments, distinct design problems, and distinct exams from the ones given to students in 18-412 and will be graded on a separate curve from students taking 18-412.

18-220 or equivalent, or an understanding of basic circuits, differential equations, and electricity and magnetism. Some review of circuit theory will be provided for those who need it.

Anti-requisite: 18-412

Last Modified: 2016-11-11 1:36PM

Semesters offered:

  • Spring 2017