Digilent Sponsors Excellence in Neuroscience Research!

I am so excited to show how Digilent products can be used in most surprising applications; in this case, I want to show how the Electronics Explorer (EE) board works for a group of enthusiastic students and instructors in neuroscience.

 

Digilent once again shows its commitment to bring the most recent innovations in technology to education to sustain and motivate excellence. Digilent sponsored the third  Transylvanian Experimental Neuroscience Summer School (TENSS) 2014.

 

Building-a-benchtop-fluorescence-microscope
Building a benchtop fluorescence microscope. The Electronics Explorer board is used as a current source for the illumination of the sample. Photo from TENSS organizers.
EE board in the middle of the neuroscience
Electronic Explorer board in the middle of the neuroscience battle field at TENSS. Photo from TENSS organizers.

Between June 1-17, students and professors from universities and research institutes worldwide, like Harvard, California Institute of Technology, Max Plank Institute for Brain Research Germany, stayed in beautiful Transylvania on the Pike Lake shore. While there, TENSS participants temporarily turned historic Pike Lake Pension into a high-tech lab and teaching space. With minimal resources, they built, calibrated, and used sophisticated bio-engineering instruments like microscopes, lasers, bio-amplifiers, etc.

Building-an-amplifier
Students building an amplifier with the EE board. Photo from TENSS organizers.

 

Digilent provided some Electronics Explorer boards to be used in electronic experiments. The first day was intended to train students using the boards, but to everyone’s surprise, no training was needed! They simply powered the boards and start working, as if they had always been using them. There’s intuitive for you!

Students-focusing
Students focusing on implementing schematic on EE board. Photo from TENSS organizers.

 

The Digilent Electronics Explorer boards were then used for several projects —  powering light sources during microscopy sessions, driving and acquiring data for neuronal dipole simulation setups, providing support and a measurement platform for a custom built amplifier lab, demonstrating the integration of an electrically tune-able lens into a custom built microscopy setup, etc. They replaced many expensive and big instruments: power supplies, scopes, arbitrary waveform generators, digital inputs/outputs.

 

As one user said, “The EE board has raised awareness of efficient, easy-to-use, accessible tools available for students, teachers, and researchers in the field of neuroscience. This will be definitely a useful tool in the future activity.”

 

Focusing a microscope
Focusing a microscope using an electrically tune-able lens. The Electronics Explorer provides voltage control for a custom-built, voltage-driven current source for focus adjustment of the lens. Photo from TENSS organizers.

 

What are some of the projects you’ve done with the EE board? Check out our intern Brandon’s Instructable on the EE board and other tools for working with electronics.

 

 

 

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