Neuroscience

Programmes

Neuropixels silicon probes

We are part of an international consortium that funded the development of Neuropixels, an advanced neural recording probe for research applications in animals.

Neuropixels silicon probes

We collaborated 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, now called Neuropixels, 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, €5 million was provided to support the endeavour.

The project was undertaken in conjunction with Imec, a nano-electronics research institute in Leuven, Belgium. Leveraging its nano-electronics expertise, imec designed and developed these probes on its advanced silicon platform.

With almost a thousand electrodes, and 384 recording channels on a single shank, the Neuropixels probe provides an unprecedented resolution for mapping brain activity. Neuropixels 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.

Following the successful development phase reported in Nature in late 2017, the consortium continued work to develop and test a model that could be manufactured. From November 2018, imec is making the Neuropixels probes available to the global neuroscience research community.

Information on accessing and using the Neuropixels probes is available on the Neuropixels website at www.neuropixels.org