Neuroscience

Programmes

Neuroprobes

We are supporting a consortium that is working to develop an advanced neural recording probe for research applications in animals.

Neuroprobes

We are delighted to be collaborating with the Allen Institute for Brain Science (AIBS), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Wellcome Trust and University College London (UCL) to develop and manufacture a state-of-the-art device for detecting the activity of multiple neurons in animal brains.

In mid-2013, a consortium of UCL (with grant funding from Gatsby and the Wellcome Trust), HHMI and AIBS was formalised. Collectively, €4.2 million will be provided to support the endeavour.

The 38-month project will be undertaken in conjunction with imec, a nano-electronics research institute in Leuven, Belgium. Leveraging its nano-electronics expertise, imec will design, develop and fabricate these devices.

The proposed sensor will advance current neural probe technology used to detect electrical activity in the brain. The innovative solution will incorporate recording electrodes at a much higher density and provide better performance than existing technology by an order of magnitude. This will allow researchers to record brain activity with an unprecedented combination of resolution and a very large number of sites.

The sensors under development have the potential to enable transformational neurobiology experiments and to contribute to a fundamentally improved understanding of how neurons in the brain work together to process information and control behaviour.

The consortium will develop and test the technology, then identify a model that can be manufactured to be made available for purchase by the research community. The new probes are expected to become widely available in early 2017.