Sarah Bentil

Sarah Bentil Sarah Bentil
Graduate Research Associate

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Hometown : Alexandria, VA
Education Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, In Progress
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Hawaii-Manoa, 2006
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, University of Vermont, 2003
Biographical Information Sarah Bentil is a Graduate Research Associate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, where she is advised by Dr. Rebecca Dupaix.  She is co-advised by Dr. Jessica Winter in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.  Sarah completed her Master’s work, under the guidance of Dr. Yuling Yan, at the University of Hawaii – Manoa.  During her time in Hawaii, Sarah utilized signal processing methods to characterize vocal fold vibrations.  The aim of this work was to yield useful clinical information regarding vocal fold pathologies, without resorting to invasive procedures.  Sarah is a 2009 Fellow of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program.
Current Work Neural prostheses, consisting of metal electrodes (e.g., Au, Ti, Pt, IrOx) supported on polymer substrates (e.g., polyimide, polyurethane) are used clinically in many medical applications, including treatment of hearing loss, tremor in Parkinson’s, visual restoration, and recording epileptic seizures. In these applications, both short and long-term problems arise due to adverse interactions between the brain tissue and the implant. One source of these problems is the mechanical mismatch between the implanted electrodes and neural tissue.As a means to attenuate the mechanical incompatibilities, Sarah’s current research utilizes Finite Element (FE) models to examine the suitability of using implanted electrodes coated with a hydrogel material having various compositions.  Rheological experiments using these hydrogels and Macaque brain tissue are also conducted to extract mechanical properties.  These properties are used in the FE models consisting of the electrodes implanted in the neural tissue.