Skip to Main Content
Two thin-film microelectrode arrays with integrated circuitry have been developed for extracellular neural recording in behaving animals. An eight-site probe for simultaneous neural recording and stimulation has been designed that includes on-chip amplifiers that can be individually bypassed, allowing direct access to the iridium sites for electrical stimulation. The on-probe amplifiers have a gain of 38.9 dB, an upper-cutoff frequency of 9.9 kHz, and an input-referred noise of 9.2 μV rms integrated from 100 Hz to 10 kHz. The low-frequency cutoff of the amplifier is tunable to allow the recording of field potentials and minimize stimulus artifact. The amplifier consumes 68 μW from ±1.5 V supplies and occupies 0.177 mm2 in 3 μm features. In vivo recordings have shown that the preamplifiers can record single-unit activity 1 ms after the onset of stimulation on sites as close as 20 μm to the stimulating electrode. A second neural recording array has been developed which multiplexes 32 neural signals onto four output data leads. Providing gain on this array eliminates the need for bulky head-mounted circuitry and reduces motion artifacts. The time-division multiplexing circuitry has crosstalk between consecutive channels of less than 6% at a sample rate of 20 kHz per channel. Amplified, time-division-multiplexed multichannel neural recording allows the large-scale recording of neuronal activity in freely behaving small animals with minimum number of interconnect leads.