Construction and Implementation of Carbon Fiber Microelectrode Arrays for Chronic and Acute In Vivo Recordings

Kristen N. Reikersdorfer, Andrea K. Stacy, David A. Bressler, Lauren S. Hayashi, Keith B. Hengen, Stephen D. Van Hooser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Multichannel electrode arrays offer insight into the working brain and serve to elucidate neural processes at the single-cell and circuit levels. Development of these tools is crucial for understanding complex behaviors and cognition and for advancing clinical applications. However, it remains a challenge to densely record from cell populations stably and continuously over long time periods. Many popular electrodes, such as tetrodes and silicon arrays, feature large cross-diameters that produce damage upon insertion and elicit chronic reactive tissue responses associated with neuronal death, hindering the recording of stable, continuous neural activity. In addition, most wire bundles exhibit broad spacing between channels, precluding simultaneous recording from a large number of cells clustered in a small area. The carbon fiber microelectrode arrays described in this protocol offer an accessible solution to these concerns. The study provides a detailed method for fabricating carbon fiber microelectrode arrays that can be used for both acute and chronic recordings in vivo. The physical properties of these electrodes make them ideal for stable and continuous long-term recordings at high cell densities, enabling the researcher to make robust, unambiguous recordings from single units across months.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere62760
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number174
StatePublished - Aug 2021


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