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This study investigated the use of planar, silicon-substrate microelectrodes for chronic unit recording in the cerebral cortex. The 16-channel microelectrodes consisted of four penetrating shanks with four recording sites on each shank. The chronic electrode assembly included an integrated silicon ribbon cable and percutaneous connector. In a consecutive series of six rats, 5/6 (83%) of the implanted microelectrodes recorded neuronal spike activity for more than six weeks, with four of the implants (66%) remaining functional for more than 28 weeks. In each animal, more than 80% of the electrode sites recorded spike activity over sequential recording sessions during the postoperative time period. These results provide a performance baseline to support further electrode system development for intracortical neural implant systems for medical applications.