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All steps from experimental design to data collection

Electrophysiology research is not trivial. Next to providing top-notch research solutions, Blackrock is also committed to supporting researchers with experiment planning. This guide targeted at new users explains all steps from experiment design, electrode implantation to data collection.


1. Designing the experiment

The first step for recording data with electrophysiology electrodes should always be a thorough preparation. Defining what you actually seek to achieve with the experiment determines everything else. Choosing the right electrode is a key part of this. Take a look here to find the matching electrode for your experiment. The choice of headstages and DAQ depends on your research objectives, your research subjects and the type of data you want to explore.


2. Preparing the electrode system

Before actual implantation, you need to prepare the electrode(s) and all other components like wires, cables, connectors and headstages.

  • Sterilize implanted components
  • Ensure all necessary tools to collect data are functioning

3. Preparing the subject

Preparing your research subject carefully is key for a successful implantation. The following steps need to be taken:

  • Induce anaesthesia
  • Sterilize
  • Expose implant site

4. Implanting the electrode

Pneumatic inserter

For the actual implantation of the electrode it is important that xyz.

The following steps need to be taken:

  1. Secure the connection pedestal
  2. Position the array on implant site
  3. Use the pneumatic inserter to implant the electrode in the region of interest
  4. Close the incision site

For more details on the process, please refer to our implantation overview.


5. Connecting to the data acquisition system

After the electrode has been successfully implanted, you can connect it via a headstage and to your data acquisition system (DAQ).

  • Attach electrode to your selected headstage
  • Connect headstage to DAQ system verify adequate signal

6. Collecting and analyzing data

Once the data is being recorded, you can start analyzing. The optimal addition to Blackrock electrodes, headstages and DAQs is the Blackrock Offline Spike Sorter (BOSS). When loading very large data files with BOSS, you can sort spikes and analyze neural patterns while your data is still loading.

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