Thomas Pencil Drive
Single Electrode Microdrive system
The Thomas Pencil Drive System is a single electrode microdrive with integrated preamplifier. This microelectrode manipulator can drive Thomas microelectrodes with the patented rubber tube mechanism as well as Thomas multitrodes. This device has an integrated 8 channel low-noise preamplifier.
- High precision & quality "Made in GERMANY" by Thomas RECORDING
- Axial resolution better than 1μm
- Patented rubber-tube drive, no hysteresis, slick or free motion due to patented ruber tube drive (avoids drawbacks of cable, direct or hydraulic driven systems)
- Eletrode travel range 10.000 micrometers
- Variable speed range from 0...250μm/s, higher velocity on request
- Small and lightweight (just 33g per drive unit incl. motor)
- No electrode connection cables free in air!
- Easy electrode exchange
- Custom made solutions for each recording application
- Stable long-term recordings with thin microelectrodes for hours
|Drive principle:||Patented Thomas rubber tube drive|
- The tetrode/electrode is completely shielded against noise pickup from the environment
- The patented rubber tube drive does not cause any slick or free motion like cable or hydraulic or thread rod driven microdrive systems
- Adaptation to different electrode travel distances for cortical or deep brain recordings
- Modular system
- Networkable software to control one recording setup with multiple Thomas Pen Drives from different workstations by more than one neuroscientist
- System uses thin microelectrodes with high recording quality (e.g. Thomas electrodes or tetrodes)
- Low price
- Small size and weight
- Easy setup and many features more
Figure 1 shows all components of a Thomas Pencil Drive.
Figure 1: Components of the Thomas Pencil Drive (1) = Motor control connection cable, (2) = 8 channel preamplifier, (3) = Preamplifier connection cable, (4) = O-rings for cover fixation, (5) = Cover for electrode chamber, (6) = Recording chamber holder, (7) = Electrode guide tube, (8) = Recording chamber (not part of the delivery)
The Thomas Pencil Drive is a lightweight system that can be mounted directly on an implanted primate recording chamber.
Figure 2 shows a Pencil Drive guide tube introduced in a grid hole of a primate recording chamber.
Although the electrode travel distances is 10mm, larger travel distances are available on request. The dimensions of the Thomas Pencil Drive are shown in figure 3.
Beside using the Thomas Pencil Drive for primate recording application it is also possible to use this drive with small animal stereotaxic instruments for small animal recording applications.
Furthermore we have developed a motorized xyz-manipulator with Pencil Drive holder for slice recording applications (see figure 4).
The Thomas Pencil Drive System is delivered with 8 channel motor control unit, motor control software, integrated 8 channel preamplifier with accumulator power supply and charger, primate chamber holder or small animal stereotaxic system holder.
Figure 5: Thomas Pencil Drive networkable motor control software graphical user interface. The Thomas Pencil Drive system is delivered with an 8 channel motor control unit (MCU-2) and a single channel software license for each single Pencil Drive. So it is easy to add another pencil drive to a complete setup just by ordering another pencil with another software license.
 Reitboeck HJ. Fiber microelectrodes for electrophysiological recordings. J Neurosci Methods 1983;8:249-62.
 Mountcastle VB, Reitboeck HJ, Poggio GF, Steinmetz MA. Adaptation of the Reitboeck method of multiple microelectrode recording to the neocortex of the waking monkey. J Neurosci Methods 1991;36(1):77-84.