Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 413-422

First online:

A method for pneumatically inserting an array of penetrating electrodes into cortical tissue

  • Patrick J. RouscheAffiliated withDepartment of Bioengineering, University of Utah
  • , Richard A. NormannAffiliated withDepartment of Bioengineering, University of Utah

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The goal of this research was to find a practical means by which an array of 100 needle-shaped electrodes could be implanted into the cerebral cortex with minimal brain tissue trauma. It was found that insertion of these structures into cortical tissues could only be performed using high insertion speeds. A pneumatically actuated impact insertion system has been developed that is capable of inserting an electrode array into feline brain tissue at speeds from about 1 to 11 m/s. We found that a minimum array insertion speed of 8.3 m/s was necessary for a complete, safe insertion of all 100 electrodes in the array to a depth of 1.5 mm into feline cortex. The performance of the impact insertion system is discussed in terms of a simplified representation of cortical tissue.


Penetrating electrode array Impact insertion Cortical neurophysiology Neuroprosthetics