Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Division of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Document Type



The work presented here has 3 goals: establish the need for novel neurostimulation waveform solutions through a literature review, develop a neurostimulation pulse generator, and verify the operation of the device for neurostimulation applications.

The literature review discusses the importance of stimulation waveforms on the outcomes of neurostimulation, and proposes new directions for neurostimulation research that would help in improving the reproducibility and comparability between studies.

The pulse generator circuit is then described that generates signals inspired by the shape of excitatory or inhibitory post-synaptic potentials (EPSP, IPSP). The circuit analytical equations are presented, and the effects of the circuit design components are discussed. The circuit is also analyzed with a capacitive load using a simplified Randles model to represent the electrode-electrolyte interface, and the output is measured in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution as the load with acupuncture needles as electrodes. The circuit is designed to be used in different types of neurostimulators depending on the needs of the application, and to study the effects of varying neurostimulation waveforms.

The circuit is used to develop a remote-controlled wearable veterinary electro-acupuncture machine. The device has a small form-factor and 3D printed enclosure, and has a weight of 75 g with leads attached. The device is powered by a 500 mAh lithium polymer battery, and was tested to last 6 hours. The device is tested in an electro-acupuncture animal study on cats performed at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, where it showed expected electro-acupuncture effects. Then, a 2-channel implementation of the device is presented, and tested to show independent output amplitude, frequency, and stimulation duration per channel.

Finally, the software and hardware requirements for control of the wearable veterinary electro-acupuncture machine are detailed. The number of output channels is limited to the number of hardware PWM timers available for use. The Arduino software implements PWM control for the output amplitude and frequency. The stimulation duration control is provided using software timers. The communications protocol between the microcontroller board and Android App are described, and communications are performed via Bluetooth.



Committee Chair

Choi, Jin-Woo