RELEASE DATE:  February 25, 2004

NOTICE:  NOT-NS-04-006

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stoke (NINDS)

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is 
considering to support the development and delivery of a complete recording 
system that is safe, efficient, and reliable for chronic implant 
applications, as demonstrated and validated by both in vitro and long-term 
in vivo testing.  In past research and development, multiple microelectrode 
recording sites have been fabricated on shanks as small as 60 microns wide 
and 15 microns thick.  Amplifiers integrated into the silicon 
microelectrodes have successfully amplified and buffered signals from single 
and multiple unit extracellular neural activities.  Additional electronic 
circuitry that provides selection of multiple recording channels and 
multiplexing of signals from multiple recording sites has also been 
integrated into the array.  Acute recordings have demonstrated the 
functionality of this multiplexed system.  After three months implantation 
in guinea pig auditory cortex, excellent biocompatibility of these 
microeletrodes has been demonstrated with healthy appearing neurons within 
10 microns of the microelectrode recording site.  A series of polymide 
cables have been fabricated allowing high-density two-dimensional 
interconnections to active recording probes in vivo. 

In moving towards the long-term goal of developing an integrated 
microelectrode system that permits recording of extracellular neural 
activity from many neurons over decades of use in humans, this research and 
development project will build on previous results with an emphasis on 
chronic implant applications.  In addition to the microelectrode array, the 
implantable system consists of a cable system to provide a signal and power 
path between the microelectrode array and the external world, and a 
telemetry system for transmission of the signals from an implanted array to 
an extracorporal receiver.  The cable system will be designed to be 
compatible with human implantation and must not transmit mechanical force to 
the microelectrode array that would cause it to be displaced in the neural 
tissue.  An interface circuitry will be designed to provide on-chip 
amplification, filtering, time-division multiplexing, and in vivo real-time 
signal processing.  Although no human studies are required at this stage, 
the system should be tested rigorously both in vitro and in vivo, especially 
on chronic non-human primates with a goal of eventually developing a system 
capable of providing chronic neural recordings from human cortex.  

The overall objective of this research and development project is to design 
and fabricate a chronic microelectrode array for recording of neural activity 
from many neurons over decades for use in humans.  The array will have an 
integrated cable and telemetry system that permits signals collected from 
these microelectrode arrays to be sent reliably out of the body.  Such an 
integrated system will include an electrical cable, in vivo signal processing 
circuitry and a telemetry unit.  The system will be tested in vitro and in 
chronic behaving primates.  The focus will be on the reliability of the 
system in recording quality signals over a period of 6-12 months, and on its 
safety and effectiveness in general design.  No human studies will be 

Personnel with established expertise in micromachining, bioengineering, 
integrated circuit design, integrated circuit fabrication, and animal studies 
will be needed to perform this research.

It is anticipated that one cost-reimbursement type contract will be made for 
a period of four (4) years in September 2004.  This is not a Request for 
Request for Proposal (RFP) No. NIH-NINDS-04-04 will be available 
electronically and may be accessed through the FedBizOpps (URL: or through the NINDS website at the following URL 
address: ( 15 or more 
calendar days after the issuance of this synopsis.  OFFERORS ARE RESPONSIBLE 
PROVIDED.  All responsible sources may submit a proposal, which shall be 
considered by the agency.  Refer to number note 26. ****

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NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

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Research (OER)
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Bethesda, Maryland 20892
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