Implantable brain electrophysiology probes are valuable tools in neuroscience due to their ability to record neural activity with high spatiotemporal resolution from shallow and deep brain regions. Their use has been hindered, however, by mechanical and structural mismatches between the probes and brain tissue that commonly lead to micromotion and gliosis with resulting signal instability in chronic recording experiments. In contrast, following the implantation of ultraflexible mesh electronics via syringe injection, the mesh probes form a seamless, gliosis-free interface with the surrounding brain tissue that enables stable tracking of individual neurons on at least a year timescale. This protocol details the key steps in a typical mouse neural recording experiment using syringe-injectable mesh electronics, including the fabrication of mesh electronics in a standard photolithography-based process possible at many universities, loading mesh electronics into standard capillary needles, stereotaxic injection in vivo, connection of the mesh input/output to standard instrumentation interfaces, restrained or freely moving recording sessions, and histological sectioning of brain tissue containing mesh electronics. Representative neural recordings and histology data are presented. Investigators familiar with this protocol will have the knowledge necessary to incorporate mesh electronics into their own experiments and take advantage of the unique opportunities afforded by long-term stable neural interfacing, such as studies of aging processes, brain development, and the pathogenesis of brain disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Neuroscience
- General Chemical Engineering
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Immunology and Microbiology