Open-source silicon microprobes

We have developed silicon microprobes containing up to 256 electrodes optimized for recording large-scale neural activity (single-unit and LFP). The technology can be readily integrated with optical fibers for combined optogenetic and electrophysiological experiments. Thanks to support from the NSF NeuroNex program we have previously offered large quantities of microprobes as low cost tools to the neuroscience community. To date we have shared over 1,000 probes with dozens of other labs.

Click here to read a paper about our open source-silicon microprobes.

Head-fixed animal recordings: Most probe packages are primarily intended for acute head-fixed animal measurements.

Chronic freely moving animal recordings: Our 64 channel probes have been bonded to flexible cables, enabling chronic implantation.

Update on probe outages (December 2022): We are out of most probes EXCEPT: 64D XL, 64E, 64J, 64M, 128A, 128D, 128DN, 128M, 128P.

Update on end of project (December 2022): We are grateful to NSF for enabling this probe dissemination project via the NeuroNex program. We have greatly enjoyed sharing our tools with the research community, and the demand for them has exceeded our expectations. Our five-year funding period for this project recently came to a close. We will continue to share probes as long as supplies last. Please see our list of probe outages above. And stay tuned - we hope to be able to continue and expand this effort in the future!

Procedure for obtaining pre-fabricated microprobes:

To acquire probes for head-fixed animal recordings:

1. Click here to download information on available microprobe designs, packaging, compatible hardware options, and miscellaneous information on using the probes (e.g., electroplating, epoxy encapsulation, wirebond pad dimensions). Also visit our Github file repository for up-to-date information on electrode maps, design files, instructional videos, and other useful resources.

2. Send an e-mail to Sotiris Masmanidis ( specifying the type and number of microprobes you would like. If you are a first time user please limit initial requests to six 64 or 128 electrode microprobes. We will accommodate requests for larger quantities to experienced users as long as supplies last.

3. We will forward your request to a third-party chip-on-board manufacturer who will provide you a quote for assembly and packaging. Note that the manufacturer does their best to ensure 100% yield but can neither guarantee this nor can perform testing of individual electrode functionality. We declare no financial conflict of interest in this process.

4. You will receive a packaged microprobe from the manufacturer that is ready to use after a simple process involving encapsulating the wire bonds with epoxy for protection. Users are responsible for encapsulating the probes themselves, and attaching any optical fibers that may be required. We further recommend gold electroplating the electrodes for enhanced signal-to-noise ratio recordings. The 128 channel Intan head stage supports recording and impedance checking functions. Some sample data acquired with these tools is shown below. Microprobes can be reused dozens of times in acute experiments if appropriately cleaned after each recording session.

To acquire probes for chronic freely moving animal recordings:

1. Contact White Matter LLC, a vendor providing the flex cable-bonded silicon probes and electrophysiological recording equipment for small animals.

Please note these microprobes are not intended for clinical use.