Bioelectrical Communication Lab

The Bioelectrical Communication Lab, led by Erin Patrick, focuses on projects that use computational modeling for research endeavors at the interface of electrical devices and cellular biological systems. We are interested in modeling both the interaction of electrical signals from implantable electronic devices and their ability to communicate to target cells (e.g., neural fibers) and endogenous bioelectrical activity that cells use to communicate in biological systems.

Dr. Patrick’s research interests range from bioelectrical systems to solid-state devices and sensors.  Examples of her current projects include:

1) incorporating biophysical conductance-based models of neural axons with finite-element simulations for prediction of neural-interface recording and stimulation performance (including peripheral nerve and brain interfaces),

2) developing computational models that simulate bielectrical signal propagation in bacterial biofilms, and

3) providing design guidelines for electrical stimulation of stem cells for secretome production.


Dr. Patrick’s Scientific Expertise: Through my graduate and postdoctoral training, I have gained scientific breadth and depth while specializing in two dissimilar areas: neuroengineering and device physics. In doing so, I became proficient in both experimental and modeling/simulation techniques. Within the neural engineering field, I have expertise in fabrication and characterization of intracortical microelectrode arrays, which includes expertise on microfabrication processes and electrochemical measurement techniques comprising electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry, and expertise in extracellular electrophysiological recording and stimulation. Within the field of device physics, I am proficient in finite-element modeling and simulation of electrical (carrier transport, electrostatic potential), thermal, and mechanical physics within semiconductor devices. I have much experience with physical modeling that involves finite-element analysis of partial differential equations in solid-state and electrolyte systems. My training has provided me a wide range of scientific expertise that I use for research on bioelectrical systems.