Advice from the Field – Plexon Probes Edition

  • Some advice straight from current Plexon customers. If you would like to know more or have any further questions please contact one of our Plexon Sales Engineers.

How many uses can one get from the average probe (U, V, and S)?

On average most customers get around 20 uses from each of their probes, however, in some cases customers have reported up to 75 uses from a single probe!

“Some probes can be used infinitely”

“Continuous good recordings until user error…”

“U Probes are practically indestructible”

“Lifespan seems almost entirely determined by human error in handling”

Which microdrives do Plexon customers use?

Our customers have reported using the following microdrives:

NAN Drive, Thomas MEM Drive, Custom Microdrive, Narashige Micromanipulator, Alpha Omega, Kopf Microdrive, Kopf Microdrive (coupled with a separate drive for advancing the guide tube and electrode together), Kopf Manipulator, Newport, National Aperture, Custom NIH, Custom with Linear Actuators, Stereotaxic frame, FHC, Marheuser.

Plexon Probes are available with an optional fluid channel.

Our customers have reported using the following fluid delivery systems:

UMP-3 pump with Hamilton syringe, Manual or WPI infusion pumps, Harvard apparatus, Picospritzer

How do I clean Plexon Probes?

Plexon does have a recommended cleaning method that can be found on page 12 of the Probe Technical Guide, however, we’ve heard from our customers that there are many other options for cleaning your probes.

Some of these include:

Alcazym then water, alcohol wipes, distilled water, after enzyme cleaning leave the probes with tips hanging in ultra-pure water until next use, rinse in bleach and saline, suspend in sonicator with chlorhexidine solution, Nolvasan.

Troubleshooting Advice

Specific advice given by some of our customers on how to deal with common problems:

“Make sure to use a guide tube if your experiment requires penetrating dura”

“Probes can be expensive, so make sure to order dummy practice probes which allow you to practice insertion and prevent you from damaging your probe”

“We have been able to use probes for many penetrations and for long periods of time, sometimes the signal on a few of the channels may degrade over time, these probes can be returned to like new condition by Plexon at a much lower cost than purchasing a new probe.”

“If you experience a decrease in SNR, you can send your probe back for a thorough cleaning by Plexon”

“Causes of breakage include bending or snapping against bone, and getting stuck inside the guide tube”