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J Neurosci Methods. 1990 Aug;33(2-3):233-40.

Miniaturized optoelectronic system for telemetry of in vivo voltammetric signals.

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  • 1Istituto di-Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano, Italia.


In vivo voltammetry is an electrochemical technique that uses carbon fiber microelectrodes stereotaxically implanted in brain areas to monitor monoamine metabolism and release continuously, in freely moving animals. Electric wires connect the polarograph to the animal. A wire-less transmission system (optoelectronic transmission, OPT) of voltammetric signals is described here. It uses infrared diffused light, exploiting the diffusion of the transmitted light over walls and ceiling towards a receiver. The transmission system consists of a main unit and a satellite unit (40 x 30 x 5 mm) positioned on the animal's back. Voltammetric recordings obtained by the classical system (with wires) and by OPT are well defined and almost identical in shape. The power supply is provided by two thin lithium batteries (+/- 3V) that can record for up to 20 h. OPT permits detailed behavioral observations since the animal can be left free to move in a spacious environment. Voltammetry using OPT allows simultaneous recording of neuronal firing activity as well as electroencephalographic recordings (EEG) since there is no cross-talk between the circuits used. The results illustrate the reliability and usefulness of this wire-less transmission system for studying relationships between neurochemical, behavioral and electrophysiological activities.

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