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J Neurosci Methods. 2007 Jan 15;159(1):116-24. Epub 2006 Aug 8.

Flexible multielectrodes can resolve multiple muscles in an insect appendage.

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Department of Integrative Biology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3140, USA.


Research into the neuromechanical basis of behavior, either in biomechanics, neuroethology, or neuroscience, is frequently limited by methods of data collection. Two of the most pressing needs are for methods with which to (1) record from multiple neurons or muscles simultaneously and (2) perform this recording in intact, behaving animals. In this paper we present the fabrication and testing of flexible multielectrode arrays (fMEAs) that move us significantly towards these goals. The fMEAs were used to record the activity of several distinct units in the coxa of the cockroach Blaberus discoidalis. The devices fabricated here address the first goal in two ways: (1) their flexibility allows them to be inserted into an animal and guided through internal tissues in order to access distinct groups of neurons and muscles and (2) their recording site geometry has been tuned to suit the anatomy under study, yielding multichannel spike waveforms that are easily separable under conditions of spike overlap. The flexible nature of the devices simultaneously addresses the second goal, in that it is less likely to interfere with the natural movement of the animal.

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