Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Pedro P. Irazoqui

Committee Chair

Pedro P. Irazoqui

Committee Member 1

Eugenio Culurciello

Committee Member 2

Bradley S. Duerstock

Committee Member 3

Kevin L. Seburn


Neuromuscular diseases manifest by a handful of known phenotypes affecting the peripheral nerves, skeletal muscle fibers, and neuromuscular junction. Common signs of these diseases include demyelination, myasthenia, atrophy, and aberrant muscle activity—all of which may be tracked over time using one or more electrophysiological markers. Mice, which are the predominant mammalian model for most human diseases, have been used to study congenital neuromuscular diseases for decades. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying these pathologies is still incomplete. This is in part due to the lack of instrumentation available to easily collect longitudinal, in vivo electrophysiological activity from mice. There remains a need for a fully wireless, batteryless, and implantable recording system that can be adapted for a variety of electrophysiological measurements and also enable long-term, continuous data collection in very small animals.

To meet this need a miniature, chronically implantable device has been developed that is capable of wirelessly coupling energy from electromagnetic fields while implanted within a body. This device can both record and trigger bioelectric events and may be chronically implanted in rodents as small as mice. This grants investigators the ability to continuously observe electrophysiological changes corresponding to disease progression in a single, freely behaving, untethered animal. The fully wireless closed-loop system is an adaptable solution for a range of long-term mechanistic and diagnostic studies in rodent disease models. Its high level of functionality, adjustable parameters, accessible building blocks, reprogrammable firmware, and modular electrode interface offer flexibility that is distinctive among fully implantable recording or stimulating devices.

The key significance of this work is that it has generated novel instrumentation in the form of a fully implantable bioelectric recording device having a much higher level of functionality than any other fully wireless system available for mouse work. This has incidentally led to contributions in the areas of wireless power transfer and neural interfaces for upper-limb prosthesis control. Herein the solution space for wireless power transfer is examined including a close inspection of far-field power transfer to implanted bioelectric sensors. Methods of design and characterization for the iterative development of the device are detailed. Furthermore, its performance and utility in remote bioelectric sensing applications is demonstrated with humans, rats, healthy mice, and mouse models for degenerative neuromuscular and motoneuron diseases.