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Computational model of a mammalian axon

Research Achievements

Computational model of a mammalian axon

Dennis Bourbeau, a doctoral student in BioEngineering who does neurophysiological recording from peripheral nerves, received an IGERT fellowship to learn to do computational modeling. He develop a computational model of a large diameter mammalian axon using the NEURON simulation system, and validated it by comparing its responses to intra- and extracellular stimulation with experimental data from several sources. The work was presented at a meeting of the Biomedical Engineers Society (BMES) in October, 2008.

After extending the model to include the cell body and developing a variant for smaller-diameter myelinated fibers, Bourbeau plans to use the model to predict the recruitment of peripheral neurons to intrafascicular microstimulation in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). Modeling the effects of microstimulation will enhance our understanding of the motor system and contribute to the development of neuroprostheses that can provide direct somatosensory feedback to the user.