Skip to Main Content
We describe a flexible multisite microelectrode for insect flight biasing using neural stimulation. The electrode is made of two layers of polyimide (PI) with gold sandwiched in between in a split-ring geometry. The split-ring design in conjunction with the flexibility of the PI allows for a simple insertion process and provides good attachment between the electrode and ventral nerve cord of the insect. Stimulation sites are located at the ends of protruding tips that are circularly distributed inside the split-ring structure. These protruding tips penetrate into the connective tissue surrounding the nerve cord. We have been able to insert the electrode into pupae of the giant sphinx moth Manduca sexta as early as seven days before the adult moth emerges, and we are able to use the multisite electrode to deliver electrical stimuli that evoke multidirectional, graded abdominal motions in both pupae and adult moths. Finally, in loosely tethered flight, we have used stimulation through the flexible microelectrodes to alter the abdominal angle, thus causing the flying moth to deviate to the left or right of its intended path.