J. Thomas (Tom) Mortimer

Emeritus Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case School of Engineering School of Medicine

Research Information

Research Interests

In this stage of my professional life I am concentrating on 1) developing an electronic version of my course Applied Neural Control and 2) understanding the electron transfer processes on platinum neural stimulation electrodes.  The human version of the course evolved over a fifty-year period and has been given to students at Case Western Reserve University, employees of many of the industrial purveyors of electrical stimulation devices and all of the major players, and to regulatory personnel at the FDA.  The electronic version is to be a platform for others to contribute to and to expand on the knowledge base for electrically activating the nervous system that has been developed at CWRU.  Understanding the electron transfer processes taking place on platinum neural stimulation electrodes was undertaken with the expectation of developing an electrochemical understanding for the limits of charge injection and devising ways to increase the safe limits of charge injection.  Results to date point to platinum dissolution as the cause for present day charge injection limits.  These limits may be extended if imbalanced biphasic stimuli were employed rather than balanced charge biphasic pulses.

Research Projects

Neural control and prostheses; electrical activation of neural tissue; membrane properties and electrodes.


  • Hudak, EM JT Mortimer, HB Martin, “Platinum for neural stimulation: voltammetry considerations” J Neural Engineering, vol 7, pp1-7, 2010.
  • Tarler, M.D. and J.T. Mortimer, “Linear Summation of Torque Produced by Selective Activation of Two Motor Fascicles”, IEEE Trans. on Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol 15, pp104-110. 2007.
  • Merrill, D.R., I.C. Stefan, D.A. Scherson, and J.T. Mortimer, “The Electrochemistry of Gold in Aqueous Sulfuric Acid Solutions under Neural Stimulation Conditions”, J. Electrochemical Society, Vol 152 (7), pp E212-E221, 2005.