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Nat Methods. 2016 Oct;13(10):875-82. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3969. Epub 2016 Aug 29.

Stable long-term chronic brain mapping at the single-neuron level.

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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.


Stable in vivo mapping and modulation of the same neurons and brain circuits over extended periods is critical to both neuroscience and medicine. Current electrical implants offer single-neuron spatiotemporal resolution but are limited by such factors as relative shear motion and chronic immune responses during long-term recording. To overcome these limitations, we developed a chronic in vivo recording and stimulation platform based on flexible mesh electronics, and we demonstrated stable multiplexed local field potentials and single-unit recordings in mouse brains for at least 8 months without probe repositioning. Properties of acquired signals suggest robust tracking of the same neurons over this period. This recording and stimulation platform allowed us to evoke stable single-neuron responses to chronic electrical stimulation and to carry out longitudinal studies of brain aging in freely behaving mice. Such advantages could open up future studies in mapping and modulating changes associated with learning, aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

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