Modified Neuropixels probes for recording human neurophysiology in the operating room

Brian Coughlin, William Muñoz, Yoav Kfir, Michael J. Young, Domokos Meszéna, Mohsen Jamali, Irene Caprara, Richard Hardstone, Arjun Khanna, Martina L. Mustroph, Eric M. Trautmann, Charlie Windolf, Erdem Varol, Dan J. Soper, Sergey D. Stavisky, Marleen Welkenhuysen, Barundeb Dutta, Krishna V. Shenoy, Leigh R. Hochberg, R. Mark RichardsonZiv M. Williams, Sydney S. Cash, Angelique C. Paulk

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Neuropixels are silicon-based electrophysiology-recording probes with high channel count and recording-site density. These probes offer a turnkey platform for measuring neural activity with single-cell resolution and at a scale that is beyond the capabilities of current clinically approved devices. Our team demonstrated the first-in-human use of these probes during resection surgery for epilepsy or tumors and deep brain stimulation electrode placement in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Here, we provide a better understanding of the capabilities and challenges of using Neuropixels as a research tool to study human neurophysiology, with the hope that this information may inform future efforts toward regulatory approval of Neuropixels probes as research devices. In perioperative procedures, the major concerns are the initial sterility of the device, maintaining a sterile field during surgery, having multiple referencing and grounding schemes available to de-noise recordings (if necessary), protecting the silicon probe from accidental contact before insertion and obtaining high-quality action potential and local field potential recordings. The research team ensures that the device is fully operational while coordinating with the surgical team to remove sources of electrical noise that could otherwise substantially affect the signals recorded by the sensitive hardware. Prior preparation using the equipment and training in human clinical research and working in operating rooms maximize effective communication within and between the teams, ensuring high recording quality and minimizing the time added to the surgery. The perioperative procedure requires ~4 h, and the entire protocol requires multiple weeks.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2927-2953
    Number of pages27
    JournalNature Protocols
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - Oct 2023

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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