NeuralGlider Cortical Neural Implant Inserter

The NeuralGlider-Cortical Inserter from Actuated Medical, Inc. is designed to maximize the quality of neural implant recordings in pre-clinical neuroscience studies. The NeuralGlider applies micron-scale, ultrasonic vibration to microwire arrays during insertion to reduce the force required to penetrate the brain surface. The reduced insertion force facilitates slow (0.1 mm/s), accurate array insertions while minimizing displacement/dimpling of the cortical surface, preserving the integrity of the underlying neural tissue.

Key Advantages

  • Reduced insertion force and tissue dimpling, yielding less insertion damage and neuron loss
  • Integrated software for control of insertion velocity and depth
  • Enables slow insertion velocity with less tissue strain for better control of final placement
  • Reduced surface bleeding and less glial scarring results in increased recording yield

The Neural Glider Reduces insertion trauma and improves placement accuracy of penetrating neural implants in pre-clinical animal studies.

Reduce Tissue Dimpling

Ultrasonic vibration of microwire arrays during insertions with NeuralGlider significantly reduced penetration force in an agar brain model, and ex vivo rat and porcine cortex (reductions in force = 86.3%, 76.5% and 62.7%, respectively). The reduction of force correlates to a 70 – 80% reduction in cortical surface displacement/dimple during array insertion, for all tissues. * p < 0.0001; error bars = standard error of the mean. All data were normalized to the non-vibrated/control insertion average for each tissue.

Compared to a standard control insertion (left), NeuralGlider reduced cortical surface damage and blood-brain barrier leakage (IgG staining, red) at the microwire array insertion site (right). Images showed 20 μm rat cortical sections, 2 weeks after implantation with 2×4, 50 μm microwire arrays.

How it works:

  • Applies micron-scale, ultrasonic vibration to microwire arrays during insertion
  • Vibration reduces the force required to penetrate the brain surface
  • Reduced insertion force minimizes displacement, or dimpling, of the cortical surface
  • Reduction of dimpling facilitates slow (0.1 mm/s) insertions with less tissue damage and more accuracy

Compatible Electrodes

  • V-Probes
  • S-Probes
  • U-Probes
  • Microprobes MWA
  • TDT Microwire Array
  • NeuroNexus Arrays
  • Qualia Probes

Contact us if you do not see your electrode listed. We can work with you to design a custom adapter for any electrode

System Components

NeuralGlider Cortical System includes an actuator that ultrasonically vibrates an array clamp that holds your electrode, sold separately. The array clamp is designed to connect to an array during implantation and to disconnect from the array after the array is fixed to the skull. The torque Screwdriver allows the screws on the array clamp to be reliably tightened to a pre-set torque, to ensure vibration transfer. The provided torque screwdriver must be used to attach the array to the array clamp but other means of detachment can be used when removing the array from the array clamp.

The driving electronics for the actuator are housed in the control box. The Control Box allows for interfacing with a PC and motor via the various USB connections. The NeuralGlider Software loaded to the PC from the USB flash drive (NeuralGlider Software) is used to control and set operating parameters. The actuator is connected to the control box via the actuator cable. The actuator is connected to the motor so that the position of the array can be adjusted relative to the insertion target. The motor mounts to a standard stereotaxic frame using the stereotactic mounting bar and bracket and has a maximum linear travel distance of 10 mm.

Item Number Name Description
1 Stereotactic Mounting Bracket Secures the Actuator to a stereotactic frame.
2
Stereotactic Mounting Bar
Allows for the Motor and Camera to be connected to the stereotactic frame and positioned near the insertion site.
3 Motor Vertically positions the Actuator.
4
Motor Controller Contains the driving electronics for the Motor.
5 USB Type A to Mini B Cable Connects the Motor Controller to the USB Hub.
6
Motor Controller Power Supply Cord Connects the Motor Controller Power Supply to the Motor Controller.
7
Motor Controller Power Supply Reduces voltage to the Motor Controller.
8
Motor Controller Power Cord Plugs into a standard outlet and into the Power Supply.
9
Camera Views the implantation site.
10
Camera Mount Secures the Camera onto the Stereotactic Mounting Bar and allows for the adjustment of the Camera angle.
11
Actuator Vibrates the array.
12
Encoder Cable Connects the encoder output to the Motor Controller.
13
Motor Cable Connects the Motor input to the Motor Controller.
14
Actuator Cable Connects the Actuator to the Control Box.
15
Control Box Receptacle Connector for the Actuator Cable.
16
Control Box Contains the drive electronics for the Actuator.
17
ON/OFF Power Switch Turns the Control Box ON/OFF.

Software for Controlling Electrode Insertion

The Actuator and Motor are controlled using NeuralGlider Cortical Software. The software allows the user to specify position, velocity, actuation on/off, and power. The software can also be used to record video using a Camera. A USB Camera mounts next to the Actuator to view the array and insertion site.

The software has two main modes of operation: Automated Insertion Mode, and Manual Insertion Mode. The user may switch between these modes by clicking either “Auto” or “Manual”. The current active mode is indicated with an illuminated green light. The Manual Insertion Mode gives the user direct control of both the Actuator and the Motor. The Automated Insertion Mode automates control of the Actuator and Motor based on user settings to perform controlled and consistent electrode insertions. See the Software tab for more information on technical details related to the software.

 

NeuralGlider Cortical System Software Requirements

Minimum PC Specifications Recommended PC Specifications
Processor Intel Pentium M Intel Core i5
RAM
2 GB
4 GB
Disk Space 5 GB 5 GB
Operating System
Windows 7 or greater Windows 7 or greater

 

Recommended Software Parameter Settings for Insertions

Home Position 5.00 mm
Move
0.050 mm
Velocity 0.050 mm/s
Acceleration
100.00 mm/s²
Decelaration 100.00 mm/s²
Actuate Delay 0.00 – 1.00 sec

 

NeuralGlider Cortical Software Description

Data File Folder Path control where the logged data will be saved. This
must be a valid, existing folder.
File Rootname
The root of the name of the save file. This can be any
single line string.
File Suffix # The number appended to the Rootname of the save file.
This must be a numeric value.
Auto Increment File
Checkbox that, when checked, will cause File Suffix # to
increment with each successive save.
Position Graph Displays the current location of the motor relative to the
full range of movement for the Motor stage.
Zero location Indicates the current zero location on the position graph.
Target location Indicates the current target location on the position graph.
ZERO Sets the relative zero point to the current motor position.
Up arrow Moves the Motor in the positive direction (towards the top)
by the Move increment.
Down arrow Moves the Motor in the negative direction (towards the
bottom) by the Move increment.
Control Box (LED) Indicates the Control Box status.
Green: The Control Box is connected and in a valid state
Red: The Control Box is disconnected.
Yellow: The Control Box is in a fault state.
Motor (LED) Indicates the Motor status.
Green: Motor Controller connected and in a valid state.
Red: Motor Controller disconnected.
Actuation (LED) Indicates the state of the Actuator.
Green: Actuation enabled and stable.
Yellow: Actuation enabled and not stable.
Dark Green: Actuation not enabled.
Writing (LED) Indicates whether Data writing is active.
Green: Currently writing data logged file to storage.
Dark Green: Not currently writing to storage.
Data Waiting (LED) Indicates that there is data in the queue that can either
be saved or discarded.
Green: There is currently data in the queue.
Dark Green: There is not currently data in the queue.
Save Saves data to the specified file location. This control is
disabled during auto insertions and when there is no
data waiting.
Discard Data This control is disabled during auto insertions and when
there is no data waiting.
Manual Control to change the insertion mode to Manual.
Log Data Controls data logging. Can display ‘ON’ or ‘OFF’.
In Manual Mode, ‘ON’ immediately begins data logging,
given the Data File Folder is valid.
In Auto Mode, ‘ON’ will start data logging when the
automated insertion begins.
‘OFF’ indicates there is no data logging.