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Title:Silicon processing for microfluidic neuroprobes
Author(s):Bi, Oscar Sida
Advisor(s):Vlasov, Yurii
Department / Program:Electrical & Computer Eng
Discipline:Electrical & Computer Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Silicon Processing
Abstract:Neural circuit processing is a poorly understood area of biology, but is critical to the development of novel biotechnologies for neurological disorders and neural networks for machine learning. One approach to overcome this deficiency in knowledge is to treat the brain as a black box that can be reverse engineered when known inputs are applied and measurable outputs are obtained. The most important measure in this system is the concentration profile of neurochemicals as they are the basis of all neural activities. To obtain these measurements in awake subjects, a neuroprobe capable of extracting neuromodulators with high temporal and spatial resolution and high chemical sensitivity and selectivity is needed. In addition, the overall dimensions of the probe must be minimized to limit brain tissue damage. This thesis describes the fabrication process of a novel microfluidic-based neuroprobe capable of obtaining neuromodulators with high spatial and temporal resolution with limited tissue damage. This is achieved through the use of microfluidic channels with dimensions in the range of tens of microns, which is 100 times smaller than channels used today. The probe is made of silicon using standard processing techniques. It is shown that surface microfluidic channels with dimensions of 1.2um wide and 700nm high are capable of being fabricated. Fabrication processes of silicon-based neuroprobes with needles of 55m in width and 15um in height are also discussed in detail. Packaging processes for the neuroprobe with plumbing systems are also developed and described in this work. The silicon processing steps and packaging method described in this thesis will help lead to the completion of the high-performing silicon-based neurochemical probe that will aid in unlocking the mechanisms of neural circuits.
Issue Date:2018-12-10
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Oscar Sida Bi
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-02-08
Date Deposited:2018-12

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