Outan: An On-Head System for Driving μlED Arrays Implanted in Freely Moving Mice

Alexander Tarnavsky Eitan, Shirly Someck, Mario Zajac, Eran Socher, Eran Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the intact brain, neural activity can be recorded using sensing electrodes and manipulated using light stimulation. Silicon probes with integrated electrodes and μLEDs enable the detection and control of neural activity using a single implanted device. Miniaturized solutions for recordings from small freely moving animals are commercially available, but stimulation is driven by large, stationary current sources. We designed and fabricated a current source chip and integrated it into a headstage PCB that weighs 1.37 g. The proposed system provides 10-bit resolution current control for 32 channels, driving μLEDs with up to 4.6 V and sourcing up to 0.9 mA at a refresh rate of 5 kHz per channel. When calibrated against a μLED probe, the system allows linear control of light output power, up to 10 μW per μLED. To demonstrate the capabilities of the system, synthetic sequences of neural spiking activity were produced by driving multiple μLEDs implanted in the hippocampal CA1 area of a freely moving mouse. The high spatial, temporal, and amplitude resolution of the system provides a rich variety of stimulation patterns. Combined with commercially available sampling headstages, the system provides an easy to use back-end, fully utilizing the bi-directional potential of integrated opto-electronic arrays.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9385944
Pages (from-to)303-313
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2007-2012 IEEE.


  • Application specific integrated circuits
  • In vivo
  • electrophysiology
  • mixed analog digital integrated circuits
  • neural engineering
  • neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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