Multisite, passive microprobes have been developed to allow simultaneous recording of action potential activity from multiple neurons at different locations in the brain. The microprobes were fabricated using standard integrated circuit techniques. The probe is a planar structure that consists of gold electrodes sandwiched between two polyimide dielectric layers and bonded to a molybdenum structural support. Windows in the top dielectric layer expose the electrode sites and bonding pads. In two distinct versions of the probe four or six recordings sites, respectively, of approximately 25 µm2 are arranged on a dagger-shaped structure which can penetrate the pia. The bonding pads and interconnect wires at the probe head are entirely encapsulated in a tubular fixture that is packed with silicone RTV and sealed with epoxy to protect the interconnections from contact with body fluids. The site impedances at 1 kHz are typically between 2 and 4 MΩ. Probe lifetimes for continuous immersion in physiological saline solution, as measured by impedance, have exceeded 750 h. The failure mechanism is believed to be due to moisture and ion absorption in the top dielectric layer. In acute neurophysiological experiments using the four site probes, action potential activity was recorded from physiologically identified neurons in the dorsal column nuclei of anesthetized rat.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering