Silicon Neural Probe Data

World-leading silicon neural probes enabling high-yield single unit electrophysiology combined with optogenetics

Our silicon neural probes are minimally-invasive with exceptional signal-to-noise performance and minimal photoelectric artefact sensitivity, making them optimal for combined electrophysiology and optogenetics.

Exceptional signal-to-noise and chronic single unit stability over time

In the brain, device-size really matters. We use advanced approaches to create a range of high-channel count silicon neural probes with minimally-invasive dimensions and coupled with our very low electrode impedance (typically ~50 kOhm) our silicon neural probe microelectrodes allow you to record large yields of single units over extended time-periods in freely-behaving animals!

Silicon-Neural-Probe-Spikes.jpg#asset:1446No other microelectrodes, probes or whatever (!) can yet match this degree of in vivo performance with repeat-ability and reliability. We can’t promise this will always work in every animal but our silicon neural probe microelectrode technology gives you the best shot at achieving the elusive goal of recording the same neurons for extended periods of time.

In combination with our ultra-small chronic nano-Drives and our miniature digital headstages, you can create small-footprint, low-profile and compact implants that facilitate natural behavior and enable a scalable approach to multi-target network analyses with combined electrophysiology and optogenetics. Check out our surgery protocol to see how you can deploy our tool-sets to your best advantage.

Chronic Probe Implant Protocol

Learn how to implant our chronic nano-Drives and probes (+/- fiber optics) to form compact, low-profile implants

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Group data: long-term chronic stability

Each line in the graph above plots single unit yields over many days recorded from neocortex (2 animals) and dorsal striatum (2 animals) with silicon neural probes and wireless telemetry in freely behaving rats.

Trans-laminar recording with our innovative H-series probes

Our new range of high-resolution probes (H-series) meet the challenges of offering unprecedented, contiguous single unit recording across a depth of 1.3 mm (H3 silicon neural probe style) on the one hand, whilst offering single unit access to the very smallest neurons in the brain with electrodes sized at just 5 x 5 microns (H1 silicon neural probe). These probes utilize very fine resolution lithographic processes in order to constrain probe shank width to <80 microns for 64 channels per shank, in turn creating minimally invasive probes with the capability to gather data in previously intractable ways.


An H3 64-channel probe, with electrodes spaced at 20 micron intervals, deployed in the rat hippocampus, extending from CA1 down to the hilus of the dentate gyrus; broadband raw data is shown comprising local field potential oscillations and single unit spikes (in total 51 discrete single units were present in this experiment). The laminar nature of the various oscillatory events each reflects discrete activity within and across the different hippocampal layers driven by extrinsic inputs and local-circuit processing. [Data courtesy of John Wolf, University of Pennsylvania, USA.]

Data examples from other labs

Our probes have found their way into many dozens of lab worldwide, in species ranging from mice to monkeys. See some diverse data examples below:

Long-term stable single units in medial prefrontal cortex

Data courtesy of Florian Baehner, CIMH, Mannheim, Germany.

Thalamus single units during active whisking

Data couretsy of Diego A. Gutnisky, Andrew Hires, Minh-Son To, Michael Bale, Rasmus Petersen & Karel Svoboda at HHMI Janelia Research Campus, USA.

Hippocampal sharp-wave ripples and single units

Data courtesy of Yingxue Wang and Eva Pastalkova at HHMI Janelia Research Campus, USA.

Will this work in my lab? Can this really beat other silicon neural probes and tetrodes?

There are no certainties in life except for death and taxes (Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789) but we’re confident that our silicon neural probes systems offer you the best chance of achieving high quality data with long-term chronic stability. Our silicon neural probe microelectrodes are in use across a range of species from to mice to monkeys and many users remark that they enjoy superior signal-to-noise and ease-of-use compared to probes from our competitors and / or tetrodes - see for yourself what our user-community thinks in our Testimonials.

Tetrodes have a long heritage in hippocampal recordings although our silicon neural probes can perform just as well in the hippocampus and more besides. The hidden cost of tetrodes is complex assembly of micro-mechanical systems thereby creating large sized headpieces that require painstaking adjustment over many days / weeks before you hit your target(s) and acquire data. Achieving chronic single unit stability for more than 24 hrs in the same location with tetrodes or with probes from our competitors is challenging, due to a variety of factors which lead to local neuron-silencing (i.e. cell death!). Our silicon neural probes are minimally invasive and their flexibility in the brain is a significant advantage both for single unit stability and since our probes are more forgiving than the extremely fragile alternatives from our competitors, we like to think of them as "graduate student proof"!

Put simply, tetrode systems are hard work and slow to gather data and probes from our competitors are fragile with poorer signal to noise ratio leading to overall lower quality data.

Finally, tetrodes and competitor probes inherently light-sensitive leading to photo-electric artifacts. Our page on combined electrophysiology and optogenetics shows you how our probes overcome this issue and how you can readily combine fiber optics alongside your probes using our chronic nano-Drives.

How do I choose the best silicon neural probes for my experiments?

Please take a look at our dedicated page which lays out all of the available silicon neural probe options and of course don't hesitate to get in contact with us to discuss your specific needs.

Download our Catalog

Browse our complete range of tools; find your ideal probes and accessories

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