Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Biological Science


The clinical impact of neural prostheses has been inhibited by a lack of functional stability of the devices due to acute and chronic reactive tissues' responses in the brain. However, prosthetic stability could be improved via local drug administration or delivery of siRNA to mitigate the reactive tissues using microfluidic probes. Neural prosthetic probes have been previously developed, but had asymmetric and uneven distribution of fluid delivery to brain phantoms. Therefore, probes with different geometries and fluid delivery pores (holes ranging from 10 to 20 μm) were tested for functionality in vitro using a crystal violet/PBS solution. Compound light microscopy and image capture were utilized to record the diffusion of solution from probes into 1% w/v agarose. Solution diffusion was observed for 30 minutes and diffusion radii were observed for all probe geometries and hole diameters, thus confirming probe functionality. With functionality established, solution release from probes was characterized in vitro using Texas-Red labeled dextran pumped into agarose brain phantoms (1% w/v) at a constant rate. Fluorescence microscopy with automated image capture was employed to record the release profile of Texas-Red dextran. Release was monitored for 10 minutes and analyzed using Nikon Elements image analysis software. A significant difference in fluid delivery was observed for different probe geometries and hole diameters. The results suggest these novel probe designs could provide a more symmetric and even distribution of local drug or siRNA delivery during intervention treatment of reactive tissue in response to neural prostheses implantation.

Included in

Biology Commons