Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Hybrid Multichannel Printed Circuit Board Microdrive

Technology #3822

Problems with understanding Neurodegenerative Diseases

Over 10 million people in the U.S. suffer from an advanced form of a neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s. There has been theory, changing breakthroughs in the last 15 years regarding how these disease progress and manifest symptoms in patients. By working in the animal model, scientists have been able to experiment more freely and tackle more advanced questions that have had direct implications to humans. Scientists have been able to record brain activity from animals that have extremely similar brain anatomy to humans through the development of high quality recording apparatuses. These recording systems enable researchers to conduct experiments with animals, which allow them to study the relationship between a disease and the disease’s effects on different parts of the brain. As the understanding of the brain evolves, scientists are in need of recording systems that can be used in more complicated and intricate animal experiments that are designed to answer the hardest of questions regarding neurodegenerative diseases.

Next-Generation Brain Recording System

The development of a next-generation neural recording system has been achieved. The recording system leverages printed circuit board (PCB) technology to fabricate a combined system that includes the array of microelectrodes, the microdrive, and the base for the microdrive movements - all in one package. This combined system is significantly more advantageous over current methods because it is ultra-lightweight, low cost, robust in design, and can be implemented into animal neural recordings with minimal change in the recording setup. The advantages that this new recording system brings to the field of neuroscience over any current technology will enable researchers to design experiments that can begin to answer the most complicated of questions regarding neurodegenerative diseases.

Applications and Advantages


  • Animal model neural recordings
  • Advanced experimental setups requiring lightweight recording systems


  • Light weight and low cost PCB designed recording system
  • Enables use of a more robust and cheaper manufacturing process over current microarray and microdrive technologies