Transparent intracortical microprobe array for simultaneous spatiotemporal optical stimulation and multichannel electrical recording

Nat Methods. 2015 Dec;12(12):1157-62. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3620. Epub 2015 Oct 12.


Optogenetics, the selective excitation or inhibition of neural circuits by light, has become a transformative approach for dissecting functional brain microcircuits, particularly in in vivo rodent models, owing to the expanding libraries of opsins and promoters. Yet there is a lack of versatile devices that can deliver spatiotemporally patterned light while performing simultaneous sensing to map the dynamics of perturbed neural populations at the network level. We have created optoelectronic actuator and sensor microarrays that can be used as monolithic intracortical implants, fabricated from an optically transparent, electrically highly conducting semiconductor ZnO crystal. The devices can perform simultaneous light delivery and electrical readout in precise spatial registry across the microprobe array. We applied the device technology in transgenic mice to study light-perturbed cortical microcircuit dynamics and their effects on behavior. The functionality of this device can be further expanded to optical imaging and patterned electrical microstimulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / genetics
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Channelrhodopsins
  • Electric Stimulation / instrumentation*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Opsins / genetics
  • Optical Fibers*
  • Optogenetics / instrumentation
  • Optogenetics / methods*
  • Photic Stimulation / instrumentation*
  • Semiconductors
  • Thy-1 Antigens / genetics
  • Zinc Oxide


  • Channelrhodopsins
  • Opsins
  • Thy-1 Antigens
  • Zinc Oxide