Chronic Recoverable Neuropixels in Mice

This protocol collection explains how to build a low-cost, lightweight system to implant 1 Neuropixels 1.0 probe or 2 Neuropixels 2.0 probes into mice, record during freely moving behavior, then recover the probes for future use. The design is <3g for a one probe and <4g for two probes, allows headfixed or freely moving recordings, and includes a headstage holder with tracking LEDs and connection to a counterweight to encourage running. By 5 days post-op, cell yields are steady for weeks and mice are able to 60cm/s in a 1m arena. Unlike other currently available designs, probes are independently insertable, so you can set custom positions, depths, and angles for each of the 2 probes.

This complete protocol collection includes all necessary build files, code, and lists of parts and equipment. It is intended for scientists with familiarity with stereotactic surgery, but requires no other prior knowledge.

Protocols include:

  • Assembly: how to 3D print components, sharpen, solder, and test the probe, and prepare components for surgery.
  • Implant surgery
  • Explant surgery
  • Building a SpikeGLX rig with camera: How to build a Neuropixels recording system using a National Instruments acquisition system and SpikeGLX software, from parts acquisition through your first recording, and how to integrate a camera, including code and wiring to record and synchronize video frames.
  • Freely moving recording: How to build enclosures for spatial tasks, construct a frame to mount the enclosures and related hardware, and wire and code an Arduino to operate poke detectors, pinch valves to dispense reward, and floor-mounted doors. How these procedures can be used specifically to build an X-maze for mice. How to integrate recording by building a headfixation apparatus for easy headstage attachment and a pulley-operated counterweight to counteract the headstage weight and enable easier running.

Project Author(s)

Emily A. Aery Jones

Project Video

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