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MPM System – Pathfinder Software

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image of a neural probe in the MPM Pathfinder viewer, the Allen CCF of the Neuropixels Trajectory Explorer, and the Open Ephys GUI

MPM Pathfinder Software simplifies planning, simulation and execution of neural recording experiments. Use Pathfinder’s simulation mode to plan and visualize probe positions and approach angles, check for interference, and practice insertions. Use it with open-source trajectory planning apps (Neuropixels Trajectory Explorer, Pinpoint) to plan insertion paths. Then, during live insertion, pass probe coordinates to trajectory planning apps and visualize real-time probe locations in a 3D brain model. Use data acquisition apps (Open Ephys GUI, SpikeGLX, Allego) to display real-time brain region activity and channel depth during insertion.

Designed for multiple silicon probes

Pathfinder supports precise control of multiple silicon probes for acute in-vivo recording. The Virtual Coordinate System (VCS) moves all probes in a common stereotactic coordinate space. You can position each probe independently, and insert all probes simultaneously if desired.

Pathfinder Software supports simulation, planning and execution.

Neural probe manipulator 8 probes

Independent positioning of multiple probes.

Plan experiments from your desktop

Use Pathfinder Software to determine probe insertion path with start and stop coordinates. Integration with open-source trajectory planning tools adds to the system’s accuracy and ease of use. View the planned probe positions simultaneously in Pathfinder and a 3D brain model.

Trajectory planning tools include:

Neuropixels Trajectory Explorer (Peters Lab, University of Oxford)

A tool for targeting Neuropixels probes, either planning at your desk or performing experiments by interfacing in real-time with manipulators.
Visit the Trajectory Explorer github repository

For instructions and examples, including how to interface with the MPM System – 
Visit the wiki

A short video shows how passing probe location coordinates from Pathfinder to Neuropixels Trajectory Explorer allows you to see probe locations in the Allen Institute Common Coordinate Framework (CCF) 3D mouse brain atlas.
Watch the video (2:46)

A one-hour webinar demonstrating use of Pathfinder and Neuropixels Trajectory Explorer in detail is available now, on demand. 
View the recorded webinar (58:50)

Pinpoint (Virtual Brain Lab at the Steinmetz Lab, University of Washington)

A tool for planning electrophysiology recordings and other in vivo insertions, as well as tracking the position of probes in real-time instead the brain.
Visit the Pinpoint github repository.

View probe positions in Pathfinder and trajectory planning apps simultaneously.

Pathfinder works with Pinpoint (left) and Neuropixels Trajectory Explorer (right).

Set up hardware for the planned probe trajectory

Using the trajectory you arrive at during simulation, Pathfinder automatically calculates the MPM System hardware setup including polar angle/azimuth (position of the manipulator on the platform ring), pitch angle (arm elevation), and arm height and length.

You spend less time calculating angles, more time recording.

Establish stereotactic coordinates for the experiment

Calibrate the animal by registering bregma and lambda with the MPM alignment probe. Adjust hardware to accommodate any minor differences from the simulation.

NEW: Current MPM System users can find a Calibration Guide in the User Portal.

Place probes more accurately

Pathfinder displays the probe in its 3D virtual coordinate system as you use the MPM System to insert the probe. At the same time, it passes probe coordinates to your trajectory planning apps.

See real-time probe location in the 3D brain atlas during insertion.

Visualize brain activity during insertion

Pathfinder also passes probe location information to data acquisition apps. Live heat maps show activity in brain region and channel depth.  Is it what you expect, or have you missed your target? We are working with the Open Ephys GUI, SpikeGLX, and Allego.

View physiology and anatomy side by side during insertion.

Learn more

The MPM System is the only micro-manipulator designed specifically for silicon neural probes, including Neuropixels 2.0 probes.


Contact us or one of our partners for more information.