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A 3-D application-specific microelectrode array has been developed for physiological studies in guinea pig cochlear nucleus (CN). The batch-fabricated silicon probes contain integrated parylene cables and use a boron etch-stop to define 15μm-thick shanks and limit tissue displacement. Targeting the ventral (three probes) and dorsal (two probes) subnuclei, the custom four-shank 32-site probes are combined in a slotted block platform having a 1.18-mm2 footprint. The device has permitted, for the first time, high-density 3-D in vivo studies of ventral CN to dorsal CN connections, stimulating with 1000 μm2 sites in one subnucleus while recording with 177 μm 2 sites in the other. Through these experiments, it has demonstrated the efficacy of bimodal silicon arrays to better understand the central nervous system at the circuit level. The 160 electrode sites also provide a high-density neural interface, which is an essential aspect of auditory prosthesis prototypes.
Note: As originally published the author information for Mary Elizabeth Merriam did not allow for her full identification as Sister Mary Elizabeth Merriam.