A remotely controlled lightweight MRI compatible ultrasonic actuator for micrometer positioning of electrodes during neuroethological primate research

Biomed Tech (Berl). 2008 Dec;53(6):292-9. doi: 10.1515/BMT.2008.046.


The precise positioning of microelectrodes is essential for a reliable electrophysiological exploration of anatomical structures in the brain of laboratory animals, e.g., non-human primates in systemic brain research. Despite recent advances in micromechanics, the majority of small, chronically head mounted devices for advancing and retracting electrodes in freely moving animals reported in the literature are manually operated. In this article, we present a newly developed lightweight microfeed, based on an ultrasonic actuator for micrometer positioning of recording microelectrodes. It has been designed for compatibility with magnetic resonance imaging to allow non-invasive visualization of chronically implanted electrodes. The actuator combines a teleoperation via infrared control to minimize manipulation of animals during neuroethological studies. Its design is believed to add substantially to the well-being of experimental animals.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrocardiography / instrumentation*
  • Electrodes, Implanted*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Primates
  • Prosthesis Implantation / instrumentation*
  • Prosthesis Implantation / methods
  • Research / instrumentation
  • Robotics / instrumentation*
  • Telemedicine / instrumentation*
  • Transducers
  • Ultrasonics