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Custom N-Slice Array Design Guide

If a standard array is not appropriate, Custom N-Slice Arrays are an option. Engineers at Cytonetics can work with you to design an N-Slice Array specifically tailored for your application and experiment. 


The N-Slice Series of Customized Arrays:

  • Enable neuroscience researchers to design electrode arrays customized to a     specific experimental preparation
  • Allow for customization of location, size, and number of electrodes, as well as     tailoring of the transparent electrode supporting layer and the handle 
  • Offer high-resolution electrodes embedded into a transparent supporting layer     for ease of viewing the underlying target and accurate positioning of the array
  • Accommodate up to 32 user-defined electrodes with either gold or platinum-     black electrode materials.


N-Slice Electrode Array Overview
Complete arrays are composed of two main parts:

  • A microfabricated structure containing the transparent electrode array
  • A flexible ribbon cable with two rigid ends


The microfabricated structure is mounted to the head of the flexible ribbon cable so that the transparent portion protrudes from the end.  On the opposite end of the cable is a connector that interfaces the array (via an adaptor) to your specified electronics.


Array Structure:



Microfabricated Structure (Close Up):



The Backbone
The function of the backbone region of the electrode array is to form a rigid portion of the microfabricated structure so that the electrodes can be electrically connected to the flexible ribbon cable.  It also contains insulated wires for connection to the electrodes.  This stiff portion of the electrode array is designed by Cytonetics and can accommodate up to 32-channels.


The Bridge
The insulated wires on the bridge play the role of intermediary between the standard layout wires on the backbone and the custom layout wires of your design.  There is a library of standard bridge designs so you do have to worry about designing this part of the electrode array. Designing a custom bridge is also possible; just include it with your design file..


The Plank
The plank is the portion of the device that contains your custom electrode array. In order to create your design, it is important to understand how the plank is structured:

  • The plank is constructed from two layers of insulating material that sandwich a     layer of gold.  Electrode locations are created by removing portions of the top     insulating layer in order to uncover a portion of the underlying gold.
  • The plank region is a maximum of 1mm wide by 2 mm long.
  • The plank region is just 2.5 microns thick. Because of this, it is important to be     careful not to make your structure too fragile.  Engineers at Cytonetics are     available to assist with your design.


The following plank descriptions must be specified for manufacture of an array:

  • Location and size of electrodes. 
  • Location and size of the insulated gold wires that connect the electrodes to the     bridge.
  • Boundary of transparent layer (including perforations, places for patch clamp     electrode access, etc.) 

Designing Your Array
Your design is most compatible if sent to Cytonetics as a vector graphic.  Programs such as AutoCAD, VectorWorks, Adobe Illustrator, or SolidWorks are all excellent drawing programs with vector capabilities.

Each portion of the electrode array should be drawn as a separate layer or file.  Label and design your layers as follows: 

    • Defines the location and sizes of the electrodes
    • Defines the insulated gold wires
    • Defines the boundaries of the plank

Submission Process

  • Conceptually design the electrode array.  Cytonetics representatives are     available to assist with this process.
  • Draw the design as a vector graphic.
  • Export the design to a standard graphics format such as DFX.
  • E-mail the design file to support@cytonetics.com
  • A design proof will be returned to you.
  • Send approval or make changes to proof.
  • We will fabricate the electrode arrays during the next production run, mount     them onto flexible ribbon cables, and ship them to you.


Customer service representatives can assist with
all aspects of your custom order


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