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Using silicon-integrated circuit technology, we have fabricated a flexible multi-electrode array and used it for measuring evoked potentials at the surface of the ferret primary auditory cortex (AI). Traditionally, maps of cortical activity are recorded from numerous sequential penetrations with a single electrode. A common problem with this approach is that the state of the cortex (defined in part by level of anesthesia and number of active cells) changes during the time required to generate these maps. The multi-electrode array reduces this problem by allowing the recording of 24 locations simultaneously. The specific array described in this report is designed to record cortical activity over a 1 mm2 area. It is comprised of 24 gold electrodes (40 x 40 microns2) each spaced 210 microns apart. These electrodes are connected to contact pads via gold leads (5 cm in length). The electrodes, leads, and contact pads are sandwiched between two layers of polyimide. The polyimide passivates the device and makes the device flexible enough to conform to the shape of the cortex. The fabrication procedures described here allow various other layouts and areas to be readily implemented. Measurements of the electrical properties of the electrodes, together with details of the multichannel amplification, acquisition, and display of the data are also discussed. Finally, results of AI mapping experiments with these arrays are illustrated.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of neuroscience methods

Publication Date





209 - 220


Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park 20742, USA.


Auditory Cortex, Animals, Ferrets, Platinum, Electrocardiography, Acoustic Stimulation, Electric Stimulation, Microelectrodes, Electrophysiology, Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Amplifiers, Electronic, Transistors, Electronic