The Neural Circuit Probe (NCP) is an instrument for interacting with neural circuits grown on multi-electrode arrays (MEAs). The NCP consists of a motion controlled pipette which can automatically approach the surface of the cultured neurons without contact. Three main modes of operation are available: (i) a mobile electrode for correlating signals measured at specific neurons to their signals on the MEA, (ii) drug delivery for localized chemical perturbation of cells, and (iii) single cell harvesting for extracting the gene expression of specific neurons in the neural circuit. I developed the user interface in Swift and Objective C, and controller firmware in C. The NCP interacts with 3 motion stages (2 XY stages, and 1 Z stage), as well as numerous sensors and the main NCP micro-controller.

Neural Circuit Probe - Cell Harvesting. The probe fixture is aligned using two video microscopes, then placed into the Neural Circuit Probe. Multiple "cells" (in this demonstration tungsten balls are being used) across the array are selected for harvesting. The instrument then harvests the cells and deposits them into a 384 well plate for subsequent single cell RNASeq.

Neural Circuit Probe - Drug Delivery. A fluorescent dye is applied successively to 5 previously selected locations on the array.

Neural Circuit Probe - User Interface. The Neural Circuit Probe user interface is written for Mac OS X using Swift and Objective C.