MSc thesis project proposal

[2023] Patch clamp experiments on activation behavior of cortical neurons to electrical stimulation

Neuroprosthetic devices restore brain functions that might have been lost due to injury or diseases. A well-known example of a neuroprosthetic device is the cochlear implant for deaf patients. Similarly, visual prostheses are being developed to restore the sense of vision in blind patients. Such devices rely on electrical stimulation of a large number of electrodes to activate neurons in the brain.

Conventionally, rectangular current pulses are used for electrical stimulation. However, some literature suggests beneficial effects of alternative pulse shapes. The advantages of non-rectangular pulses are not definitive, and more research is needed to determine the differences in a holistic approach.

In this project, we want to validate previous results from computational modeling on the effects of pulse shaping in electrical stimulation by means of patch clamp experiments.


1st part:  Improve existing measurement set-up. Mainly software (Python) programming for controlling custom stimulator PCB and synchronized recording from patch clamp amplifier. Potentially implement small improvements on custom stimulator PCB.

2nd part: Execution and analysis of patch clamp experiments.


Prior Python & patch-clamp experience is necessary for timely completion of the project. Interested students should include their CV, the list of courses attended, and a motivation letter, and send it to Francesc Varkevisser (


ir. Francesc Varkevisser

Bioelectronics Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2022-11-16