The Neural Prostheses Research Laboratory occupies 1,350 sq. ft. in the Fitzpatrick Center for the Integration of Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences (FCIEMAS) at Duke University. It includes an In Vivo Lab (~700 sq. ft), an Electrode Fabrication Lab(~150 sq. ft.), a Chemical Lab with hood (~150 sq. ft), and an In Vitro Lab (~150 sq. ft).

The Neural Prostheses Lab also has access to Duke University's campus wide computer network; this network is currently configured with 216 processors for a total of 224 GB RAM and a peak processing capacity of 1.2 TeraFLOPS and can be tapped for computational work. Two laboratory computer systems with Data Collection Boards, MATLAB, and LABVIEW installed are used for data acquisition, processing and analysis. Several high-speed laser printers as well as a color inkjet printer are also available.

This laboratory also utilizes the latest in sensing and analysis equipment. A list of some of our major equipment is as follows:

  • Solatron Analytical Electrochemical System: SI1287 Electrochemical Interface, 1252A Frequency Response
  • Analyzer connected to Pentium V with GPIB interface
  • 6 oscilloscopes (Tektronix T912, TDS 340(2), TDS 1012, TDS 2014, 2232) to visualize signals in real time
  • 1 oscilloscope with GPIB interface for high-speed data capture and analysis (Tektronix TDS 1012)
  • 3 regulated current stimulators (Frederick Haer Pulsar 6bp and Pulsar 6bp A/S; custom 3 channel stimulator)
  • 1 function / waveform generator (Agilent 33120A)
  • 2 controlled-temperature water baths
  • digital thermometer, precision scale, pH meter, digital multimeters
  • Nikon SMZ1000 Trinocular Microscope with Moticam 2300 3MP camera interfaced to Dell Optiplex GX620
  • 4 low noise pre-amplifiers/filters (Stanford Research System SR650)
  • 4 amplifiers/filters (Grass P511)
  • 4 Gould Universal Amplifiers
  • 4 custom biopotential amplifiers
  • 4-channel hardware rectifier/low-pass filter (CWE MA821S)
  • 8 channel digitizer/thermal chart recorder (Astro-Med DASH 8-XE)
  • 16 channel extracellular single unit recording and analysis system (Plexon MAP and associated software)
  • Leitz Orthoplan Trinocular Upright Microscope with transmitted and fluorescence capabilities

The well-equipped In Vivo Lab includes all equipment necessary to maintain animal homeostasis and to monitor vital signs, including an EKG monitor, blood pressure monitor, temperature controller, ventilator, end tidal CO2 monitor, gas anesthesia system, and two IV infusion pumps.  This laboratory is also equipped with a variety of stereotactic equipment and transducer systems in order to perform detailed in-vivo experiments.

The In Vitro Lab includes all equipment necessary for in vitro analysis of stimulating electrodes including a Solatron Analytical Electrochemical System.

The Electrode Fabrication Lab includes a spot welder, inspection scope, oven, vacuum evacuator, and all equipment and supplies necessary for fabrication of a variety of electrodes.