Integrated Device for Combined Optical Neuromodulation and Electrical Recording for Chronic in Vivo Applications

J Neural Eng. 2012 Feb;9(1):016001. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/9/1/016001. Epub 2011 Dec 7.


Studying brain function and its local circuit dynamics requires neural interfaces that can record and stimulate the brain with high spatiotemporal resolution. Optogenetics, a technique that genetically targets specific neurons to express light-sensitive channel proteins, provides the capability to control central nervous system neuronal activity in mammals with millisecond time precision. This technique enables precise optical stimulation of neurons and simultaneous monitoring of neural response by electrophysiological means, both in the vicinity of and distant to the stimulation site. We previously demonstrated, in vitro, the dual capability (optical delivery and electrical recording) while testing a novel hybrid device (optrode-MEA), which incorporates a tapered coaxial optical electrode (optrode) and a 100 element microelectrode array (MEA). Here we report a fully chronic implant of a new version of this device in ChR2-expressing rats, and demonstrate its use in freely moving animals over periods up to 8 months. In its present configuration, we show the device delivering optical excitation to a single cortical site while mapping the neural response from the surrounding 30 channels of the 6 × 6 element MEA, thereby enabling recording of optically modulated single-unit and local field potential activity across several millimeters of the neocortical landscape.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electrodes, Implanted*
  • Electroencephalography / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Fiber Optic Technology / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Systems Integration
  • Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging / instrumentation*