Technology Platforms

Our mission is to develop, improve, and disseminate tools for improved structural and functional mapping. MINT is looking for neuroscience labs who can combine multiple technologies to advance structure-function analysis for brain mapping. Please review the datasheets below and contact us if you would like to combine them to improve your methodology.

If you are new to the tools, we recommend checking out our annual MINT Training Workshop, providing hands-on training for each technology. 



Optoelectrodes with high temporal and spatial resolution are available via our sample request form. These are silicon neural probes with 12 blue micro-LEDs and 32 PtIr electrodes. Please see our PRT-14017 Datasheetdatasheet for complete specifications, details on our open-source micro-LED driver (OSC1Lite), FAQ, and a surgery video.

Additionally, to get a glimpse of how optoelectrodes are used, check out the Plexon Neurolight Webinar Series. Speakers include (pictured left to right) Daniel English (Virginia Tech), Mihaly Voroslakos (New York University), Euisik Yoon (University of Michigan), Liset M de la Prida (Instituto Cajal CSIC), and Sam Mckenzie (University of New Mexico).


Finally, see Professor Euisik Yoon’s talk, “Artifact free High-density microLED Optoelectrodes”, from NeuroNex3 where he explains how we’ve eliminated artifact in our optoelectrodes (to be released soon). 




The Gradinaru Lab has developed an AAV capable of systemic transfection. Recently, the first AAV for widespread systemic use was AAV-PHP.B and published in Nature. Newer variants have also been validated and shared in a Nature Protocols article that includes protocols for production, purification, and administration. AAV-PHP and its variants can be accessed at the Clover Center at Caltech.  Since the Clover Center has limited supplies, future plans include disseminating via the Michigan Vector Core. If needed for your work, other related plasmids including our capsids, are deposited at Addgene here.  Addgene now provides PHP.eB viruses. PHP.S viruses are coming soon!

Brainbow and XFP


Dawen Cai is a pioneering researcher of Brainbow and continues to improve its usefulness and accessibility. The Cai Lab is looking for new collaborators to develop novel means to deliver and control Brainbow expression. The Cre version of Brainbow with AAV9 is currently available at Addgene. The Brainbow antibody is also now available through Ximbio, which improves the signal amplitude of your Brainbow labeled tissue. Similarly, XFP fluorescent proteins also achieve random color mixing with CNS neurons. If you hope to use XFP labeling with tissue clearing, please also contact the Clover Center at Caltech.  

Carbon Fiber Electrodes

Carbon fiber electrodes have many benefits including chemical sensing and minimal tissue damage. The Chestek Lab continues to develop higher density versions of carbon fibers and can distribute these on a limited basis to the community.  Click here for more information about this technology.


The goal of this platform is to provide a coating service for any substrate (wire, carbon fiber, silicon, or polymer) using a novel electroplating method developed by Jim Weiland and colleagues at Platinum Group Coatings

Tissue Clearing


The Gradinaru Lab continues to develop methods to improve the speed of Clarity and its compatibility with existing immunohistochemistry. This technique is published in Nature Protocols and an abbreviated troubleshooting table can be found here: Troubleshooting Clarity Table 5.


The Cai Lab has developed an ImageJ plugin called nTracer to semi-autonomously trace circuits. This is available to download, along with the manual, a sample image, sample tracing results, and tutorial videos here. A recent article in Bioinformatics describes the software and methods used to accomplish multispectral tracing with Brainbow.