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Is Customization a Dirty Word?

In many fields there is an inherent trade-off between the benefits of product uniformity and the appeal of customization.

Product uniformity fosters reproducibility, reliability, and lower cost, whereas customization gives users access to unique features ideally suited to the specific task at hand. Henry Ford’s comment that a customer can have “any color so long as it is black” may seem tone deaf to modern ears, yet Ford’s approach to standardizing and scaling automobile manufacturing led to the widespread adoption of the car.

At DBC, we believe that unlocking the full potential of silicon neural probe technology is as much about product maturation as advancing the state-of-the-art. We know, for example, that before the pharmaceutical industry widely adopts probes in the neuro drug discovery pipeline, work remains to demonstrate that high density single unit and field recording is an accurate and highly repeatable assay. For users doing more fundamental research, demonstrated sensor reproducibility and standardization moves the field forward by increasing the return on data and streamlining inter-lab reproducibility. For these reasons, DBC is committed to the development of a validated and mature product set.

Is Customization a Dirty Word?

Two 64 site probes stacked with 2 mm tip-to-tip offset and 300 micron lateral offset (perpendicular to plane of sites.)

Is Customization a Dirty Word?

A two shank 64 site probe aligned with an optical fiber for behavioral experiments with optogenetics.

However, we also know that DBC customers know what they need and don’t want to sacrifice flexibility in their experiments.  So, we maintain flexible and modular wafer fab and packaging workflows that allow us to easily create tailored customer-specific configurations.  We work on an individual basis to configure your hardware for your specific experimental approach.   Examples of customer-configured modules that we routinely provide to customers include:

  • Multi-probe modules, aligned with high precision
  • Factory integration of probe(s) onto a micro-drive or surgical tool
  • Integration of optical fibers with probes for optogenetics
  • Integration of ECoG leads
  • Experiment-specific probe designs

We look forward to discussing your application with you, and we are certain that good communication is the best way to provide you with a flexible user experience that is highly dependable and reproducible.