Neural Probes Integrated with Optical Mixer/Splitter Waveguides and Multiple Stimulation Sites

This work involves new neural probe schemes incorporating various optical waveguides for optogenetic applications. A photodefinable polymer (SU-8) has been patterned to form optical mixer and splitter waveguides for advanced optical functions with multiple light sources and easy delivery of light to multiple shanks, respectively. Single mode optical fibers have been coupled in grooves etched in the probe body. The distance between optical stimulation sites and electrical recording sites have been precisely controlled. We have successfully demonstrated transmissions of blue light, 473 nm in wavelength, through the waveguides that are integrated on the fabricated devices.

Figure 1: (a) Schematics of proposed neural probes integrated with an optical mixer (left) and an optical splitter (right); (b) conceptual drawings of blue and yellow light transmission through the optical mixer.

Figure 2: The optical mixer delivers light from multiple sources to a single stimulation site.

Figure 3: The optical splitter delivers light from single optical fiber to stimulation sites on multiple shanks.

Related Publication
  1. M. Im, I.-J. Cho, F. Wu, K. D. Wise, and E. Yoon, "Neural probes integrated with optical mixer/splitter waveguides and multiple stimulation sites," in Proc. MEMS 2011 Conference, Cancun, Mexico, January 23-27, 2011, pp. 1051-1054.