Racz RR - Kollo M - Racz G - Bulz C - Ackels T - Warner T - Wray W - Kiskin N - Chen C - Ye Z - de Hoz L - Rancz E - Schaefer AT


Journal of neural engineering


Extracellular microelectrode techniques are the most widely used approach to interrogate neuronal populations. However, regardless of the manufacturing method used, damage to the vasculature and circuit function during probe insertion remains a concern. This issue can be mitigated by minimising the footprint of the probe used. Reducing the size of probes typically requires either a reduction in the number of channels present in the probe, or a reduction in the individual channel area. Both lead to less effective coupling between the probe and extracellular signals of interest.Here, we show that continuously drawn SiO-insulated ultra-microelectrode fibres offer an attractive substrate to address these challenges. Individual fibres can be fabricated to >10 m continuous stretches and a selection of diameters below 30m with low resistance (<100 Ω mm) continuously conductive metal core of <10m and atomically flat smooth shank surfaces. To optimize the properties of the miniaturised electrode-tissue interface, we electrodeposit rough Au structures followed by ∼20 nm IrOx film resulting in the reduction of the interfacial impedance to <500 kΩ at 1 kHz.. We demonstrate that these ultra-low impedance electrodes can record and stimulate both single and multi-unit activity with minimal tissue disturbance and exceptional signal-to-noise ratio in both superficial (∼40m) and deep (∼6 mm) structures of the mouse brain. Further, we show that sensor modifications are stable and probe manufacturing is reproducible.Minimally perturbing bidirectional neural interfacing can reveal circuit function in the mammalian brain

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