PlexBright Optical Patch Cables

Plexon’s PlexBright Optical Patch Cables are available in two options tailored to meet the needs of optogenetics research: High Performance or High Durability. The high-performance optical fiber has a numerical aperture of .66 and all glass construction (including the cladding) making it heat, chemical, and scratch resistant. This patch cable provides the highest possible output intensities from PlexBright LED Modules. The High Durability fiber has a lower numerical aperture (.5NA), but may be more optimal in experiments with highly active animals.

*Try our High Durability Patch Cables for experiments involving highly active animals *

PlexBright Optical Patch Cables easily attach to our PlexBright LED Modules, offer a choice of termination ends (based on your experimental design), are available in various lengths, and may be ordered with various degrees of reinforcement. They have been specially crafted to support optogenetic stimulation in a variety of research models including acute, chronic or in vitro preparations.

PlexBright Optical Patch Cables utilize a custom developed optical fiber to achieve exceptional performance characteristics. The optical fiber has a diameter measuring 200/230µm – representing a core fiber diameter of 200μm, and a total outer diameter that includes the cladding of 230μm. The properties that enable the high performance behavior also require special considerations when measuring the light output through the fiber at any point in the light pathway. To ensure an accurate reading every time, Plexon offers the PlexBright Light Measurement Kit with custom adaptors specific to the PlexBright Optogenetic Stimulation System.

As our PlexBright Optical Patch Cables are highly specific to achieving the most light output in a variety of experimental environments, it is important to understand your options by reviewing the following information to determine:

  • The optical fiber that will best suit your application
  • The termination end you will need based on your application.
  • If you will require reinforcement on your PlexBright Optical Patch Cable.
  • The type of PlexBright LED Module with which you will need your PlexBright Optical Patch Cable to interface.
  • The most appropriate length.
Optical Fiber Options
PlexBright Optical Patch Cables can be manufactured using either High Performance or High Durabilty optical fibers.
High Performance Fiber:
The High-Performance optical fiber has a numerical aperture of .66 and all glass construction (including the cladding) making it heat, chemical, and scratch resistant. This patch cable provides the highest possible output intensities from PlexBright LED Modules.
High Durability Fiber:
The High Durability fiber has a lower numerical aperture (.5NA), but may be more optimal in experiments with highly active animals.

Termination End Options
PlexBright Optical Patch Cables can be manufactured with either a Bare Fiber tip, an LC Ferrule tip, or an FC Ferrule tip and should be selected based on the intended use.

**NOTE: An LC or FC Ferrule discussed in this section is different than an LC or FC Connector discussed in the LED Module-specific Options section further below.**

Bare Fiber Tip:
The Bare Fiber tip is favored for acute experiments as well as in vitro preparations, may be directly inserted into tissue, andis reusable when properly maintained. It is flat cleaved and encased in strong 3mm, Kevlar-reinforced PVC tubing. This thick furcation tubing may easily be secured into a manipulator for use.

LC Ferrule Tip:
The LC Ferrule tip is primarily designed for chronic experiments with either mice, rats or other small animals in which researchers wish to periodically disconnect animals from the light source. This is done by utilizing a chronically implanted Fiber Stub Implant with an LC Ferrule that connects to the LC Ferrule tip of the PlexBright Optical Patch Cable via a ceramic mating sleeve. LC Ferrule tipped Optical Patch Cables also incorporate a thinner, more flexible furcation tubing minimizing disturbance to the subject. It is possible to benefit from reinforcing this cable using the armored jacketing described in the section below. A package of five LC Ferrule mating sleeves comes with this PlexBright Optical Patch Cable.

Magnetic LC Ferrule Tip
An added feature to the LC ferrule which enables the patch cable to mate with a magnetic fiber stub for magnetic optical fiber connector. The magnetic optical fiber connector allows rotational movement such as spinning and twirling at the connection in freely behaving animal experiments reducing torque on the implant.

FC Ferrule Tip:
The FC Ferrule tip is a bit larger than the LC Ferrule tip described above and offers some additional strength useful with stronger animals. It is primarily designed for chronic experiments with either rats or other larger animals in which researchers wish to periodically disconnect animals from the light source. Like with the LC Ferrule tip, this is done by utilizing a chronically implanted Fiber Stub Implant with an FC Ferrule that connects to the FC Ferrule tip of the PlexBright Optical Patch Cable via a ceramic mating sleeve. FC Ferrule tipped Optical Patch Cables also incorporate a thinner, more flexible furcation tubing which minimizes disturbance to the subject. As FC Ferrule cables are more likely to be used with stronger animals, we recommend reinforcing this cable (as standard practice) with the armored jacketing described below. A package of five FC Ferrule mating sleeves comes with this PlexBright Optical Patch Cable.

Reinforcement
This feature is available for PlexBright Optical Patch Cables with either an LC or FC Ferrule tip only. The PlexBright Bare Fiber tip cables already have reinforced tubing.

As an added protection from chewing (e.g. caused by especially bored or agitated, freely behaving animals) or damage from over bending, Plexon has developed a choice of two optional stainless steel reinforcements. The stainless steel, mono-coil wrap offers added protection while still maintaining a large degree of flexibility, while our previously available armored jacketing provides maximum protection and strength.

Plexon recommends that all PlexBright Optical Patch Cables with an FC Ferrule tip (those use primarily with rats and larger animals) and in certain circumstances when using an LC Ferrule tip, are ordered with one form of reinforcement.

 

LED Module-specific Options
Plexon’s PlexBright Optical Patch Cables are designed to operate with a specific style of PlexBright LED Module: a PlexBright Table-top LED Module or PlexBright Compact LED Module. It is important to note that PlexBright Optical Patch Cables are module-specific when ordering. A PlexBright Table-top LED Module-specific Optical Patch Cable is identifiable by its robust FC connector on one end. A Compact LED Module-specific Optical Patch Cable is identifiable by its much lighter LC connector on one end.

Lengths
PlexBright Optical Patch Cables are available in three standard lengths- 0.5m, 1.0m and 1.5m, and custom lengths. Patch cables can be custom made with lengths to the nearest tenth of a meter. Maximum length for High Performance Patch Cables is 2.3m. High Durability Patch Cables can be made in any length to the nearest tenth of a meter.

To best maintain the PlexBright Optical Patch Cable tips, Plexon recommends regular care and maintenance utilizing the PlexBright Optical Fiber Cleaning Kit. This kit has been designed to safely maintain and extend the life of the exposed optical fiber.

PlexBright Starter Kits offer the initial products to get started.

In addition to the PlexBright Optical Patch Cables and the PlexBright Optical Fiber Cleaning Kit, the PlexBright Optogenetic Stimulation System offers a complete range of PlexBright Fiber Stub Implants; a spectrum of super intensity PlexBright LED Modules controlled by either the stand-alone PlexBright LD-1 Single Channel LED Driver or the advanced PlexBright 4 Channel Optogenetic Controller running Radiant Software; and the PlexBright compatible Commutators referenced above. If your experiments include freely behaving animals, you may also be interested in learning more about the CinePlex® and CineLyzer® Behavioral Research Systems.

Your Plexon Sales Engineer is available to provide additional information and to assist you in determining what configuration might be the best choice for supporting your research.

The technical specifications for the PlexBright Optical Patch Cables have been presented below.

 

Features with a Bare Fiber Tip with a LC or FC Ferrule Tip Remarks
PlexBright Starter Kits – Head-fixed/Anesthetized Animal Kit
In vitro Experiment Kit
– Freely Behaving Mouse & Small Animal Kit
– Freely Behaving Rat & Large Animal Kit
Starter Kits offer the initial set-up products. Kits are available for:
– specific experimental design set-ups
– with either driver (the 4 Channel Optogenetic Controller with Radiant™ Software or the LD-1 Single-Channel LED Driver), and
– with or without commutatorsStarter Kit details are listed on the PlexBright Quote Request Forms.
Application – Acute experiments utilizing anesthetized, head-fixed animals, – Acute experiments with freely behaving animals in which a commutator is not needed, or
In vitro preparations.
LC Ferrule: Chronic experiments with rats, mice or other small animals
FC Ferrule: Chronic experiments most often utilizing rats or larger animals
LED module compatibility PlexBright Table-top LED Modules – PlexBright Table-top LED Modules, or
– PlexBright Compact LED Modules (for use with any of our PlexBright compatible commutators)
PlexBright Optical Patch Cables for use with the PlexBright Table-top LED Modules have a robust FC connector on one end, while the ones for use with the PlexBright Compact LED Modules have a lighter-weight LC connector.
Optical fiber diameter 200/230µm 200/230µm The first number represents the core fiber diameter, while the second number gives the total outer fiber diameter including the cladding.
Length(s) – 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5m
– Custom
– 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5m
– Custom
Lengths listed are standard and available immediately. Custom options may also be available, and accordingly will require additional manufacturing time and cost. Length measurements are from the head of the connector to the tip of the ferrule.Patch cables can be custom made with lengths to the nearest tenth of a meter. Maximum length for High Performance Patch Cables is 2.3m. High Durability Patch Cables can be made in any length to the nearest tenth of a meter.
Tubing OD 3.0mm 900µm The tubing associated with the LC or FC Ferrule tips is thinner and highly flexible for use with freely behaving animals.
Tubing material Kevlar reinforced PVC PVC The Bare Fiber tip tubing is reinforced for clamping into a micromanipulator.
Optional cable reinforcement
Not applicable stainless, mono-coil wrap
– Stainless steel jacketing
An added protection from animals (chewing, etc.), or from humans (excessive use or over bending). Mono-coil wrap adds additional protection while maintaining flexibility. The Armored jacketing is more robust, offering the maximum amount of protection.
Tip finish Flat cleave Polished
Tip protection Plastic sleeve Plastic cap
Length of stripped fiber at tip 1.0cm Not applicable
Ferrule OD
Not applicable
LC Ferrule: 1.25mm
FC Ferrule: 2.5mm
Ferrule length Not applicable
LC Ferrule: 6.45mm
FC Ferrule: 10.55mm
PlexBright Fiber Stub Implant
Not applicable
LC Ferrule: Compatible with LC Ferrule Fiber Stub Implants of any length
Compatible with FC Ferrule Fiber Stub Implants of any length
PlexBright Fiber Stub Implant connector Not applicable Ceramic sleeve Arrives packaged with the PlexBright Optical Patch Cable.
Accessories – PlexBright Light Measurement Kit, and
– PlexBright Optical Fiber Cleaning Kit
– PlexBright Light Measurement Kit, and
– PlexBright Optical Fiber Cleaning Kit
The PlexBright Light Measurement Kit ensures accurate output measurements of the custom drawn, high performance PlexBright optical fiber throughout the light path (unlikely to be accurately read without this kit and the contained adaptors).

The PlexBright Optical Fiber Cleaning Kit maximizes light transmission at fiber connections and extends the life of the fiber connection tips. It is recommended with the purchase of any of our PlexBright LED Modules, Optical Patch Cables and/or Fiber Stub Implants.

PlexBright LED Power Output at Various Points Throughout the Light Path