PlexUtil is a Plexon program for modifying PLX, PL2 and DDT data files generated by both the OmniPlex® Neural Data Acquisition System and the original Multichannel Acquisition Processor (MAP) Data Acquisition System.
Plexon data acquisition systems generate three types of data files: PLX, PL2 and DDT file types. PLX files are Plexon data files that contain action potential (spike) timestamps and waveforms, event timestamps, and continuous variable data. PL2 is Plexon’s next generation PLX format developed to significantly decrease the time it takes to read (single channel or block level) the data into a sorting or analysis program. DDT files are an older format containing only continuous data.
PlexUtil functionality empowers the user to do the following:
- Create subsets of PLX or PL2 files that includes all channels, a user-defined selection of spike, event and continuous channels, and a user-defined selection of start and end times
- Split PLX or PL2 files according to all channels, a user-defined selection of spike, event and continuous channels, and into multiple files by channels, time, space and frames
- Scan for and repair PLX or PL2 file errors and inconsistencies
- Convert PLX files into PL2 files and the reverse
- Convert the continuous channels of a PLX file to a DDT file, and the reverse (note that the newly converted PLX files only contain continuous channels). The convert functionality offers several choices including all continuous channels, a user-defined set of continuous channels, all data, and user-defined start and end times.
- Merge two or more compatible files according to data blocks by timestamps, as well as consecutively with a time gap between files
With all functions that accept a time input, you can specify the time in fractions of a second. With all functions that accept a disk space (file size) input, you can specify the space in fractions of a megabyte. The resulting files are never larger than the size you specify, which includes all headers and data. PlexUtil attempts to create the largest valid file, which is equal to or less than the size you specify.
The most recent release, PlexUtil 4.0, is required to take advantage of the PLX to PL2 conversion functionality. In addition to downloading PlexUtil 4.0, researchers wishing to convert PLX to PL2 files will first need to ensure that their OmniPlex and/or MAP System license keys have been upgraded (at no charge) to unlock access to the PL2 conversion functionality. For more information and instructions, please see the PL2 File System Overview document on the Resources tab.
PlexUtil is available for all OmniPlex and MAP System users, as well as anyone else who has PLX or DDT files he or she wishes to manipulate. PlexUtil is pre-loaded on OmniPlex and MAP Systems control computer, and may also be downloaded here at no charge.
PlexUtil is an excellent tool for breaking down large data files. A beneficial next step may be to either leverage Plexon’s Offline Sorter™ program for further spike sorting, and/or NeuroExplorer® for extensive analysis. If you wish to discuss PlexUtil further, a Plexon Sales Engineer would be more than happy to talk with you.