Development of polymer-based microstructures for biomedical applications

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Supervisor:
Bein Márton
Department of Electron Devices

The primary tool for researches targeting the understanding of the nervous system is the examination of brain activity. Microtechnology is getting a significant role in the development of increasingly smaller devices for research and diagnostics. In my work I present the design and possible technology of microelectromechanical systems for neuroscientific applications (NeuroMEMS).

In this work I try to create the devices required to study two neuroscience method. These devices are fabricated using microtechnology, thus I present the methods of conventional and polymer-based microtechnology, as well as a few significant polymers (PDMS, parylene, polyimide, SU-8). I also elaborate on the advantages of polymer-based methods over conventional microtechnology.

Microelectrocorticography is a method for measuring potential changes caused by neurons on the surface of the brain. In this work, the previously developed polyimide-based microelectrocorticogram (uECoG) was improved. The previous design was revised and new designs were made specifically for the brains of particular animals. I have designed new technological processes, which may improve upon the old one in integration and fabrication aspects.

Optogenetics is a novel process for controlling biological systems. In this thesis one of the crucial points is investigated: getting light into the targeted tissue. In order to get light into the tissues I chose to improve the deep brain probe developed by the MTA MFA MEMS laboratory, which already has electrodes to measure the response for the excitation. For the solution, I chose an optical waveguide, which can be integrated onto the deep brain probe. In the presented work I have created a model of the waveguide and the used materials for the finite element method (FEM). Using the model, I present guidelines for the design of said structures. I also present technological considerations for fabrication.

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