Magnetic Fiber Stubs
Fiber stubs of different lengths are used in optogenetic experiments to target the brain region of interest. Traditional fiber stubs are available in custom lengths and are made with either a LC or FC ceramic ferrule. A ceramic sleeve is used to connect this ferrule to the patch cable.
Typically these fibers stubs are implanted prior to an experiment so that on the day of testing, the researcher simply connects the patch cable to the fiber stub and starts stimulation. Aggressive or agitated animals can make handling small items like the ceramic sleeve difficult and some customers have reported that they were breaking different components while trying to connect the patch cable and fiber stubs.
Plexon now offers two different solutions for this problem when using LC sized ferrules. The first solution is to use a metal sleeve rather than a ceramic sleeve. The metal sleeve is not as fragile as the ceramic sleeve and will not break while trying to make this connection. The second solution is using a magnetic fiber stub designed by our optogenetic engineers. The magnet on the end of these fiber stubs attracts the magnet on the tip of a magnetic patch cable, making a secure connection when the two magnets are placed in close proximity to each other.
The .gif to the right shows how easily these two items connect. Using magnetic patch cables and fiber stubs will decrease stress related to restraining the animal and reduce the chances of breaking your optogenetic components while making this connection.