Plexon Inc Delivers 500th "Harvey Box" : 25 Years of Neural Data Acquisition and Analysis Leads to 500th System Sale

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Plexon Inc, Dallas-based maker of neurotechnology research systems, announced the sale of its 500th Multi-Channel Acquisition Processor (MAP) system since the company was founded in 1983.

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Many of the original systems sold over a decade ago are still actively used, supporting multiple generations of scientists and contributing to the results of long-standing neurological studies. We take pride in our ongoing relationships with our customers and our customer support, which extends many years after the sale.

The MAP system, or "Harvey Box" as it is called by many brain researchers after its inventor, Harvey Wiggins, is a modular system used for amplifying, filtering and sorting extracellular spike action potentials in real time from up to 128 microelectrodes that are implanted in the brain and nervous system. The original development work on the MAP system was funded through SBIR grants in the early 1990s from the NIH Neural Prosthesis Program under the direction of Dr. William Heetderks.

Although new methods of brain imaging such as fMRI have helped locate many functional regions in the brain, researchers require greater spatial and temporal signal resolution to reveal how brain cells encode information. Plexon's MAP system provides this high level of resolution by recording directly from individual neurons.

"The MAP system is specially designed to record and analyze signals from many individual brain cells simultaneously," said Sherman Wiebe, Ph.D., Plexon Director of Sales and Marketing. "This has driven our annual sales of the device steadily higher since its market launch in 1994."

The original system effectively spawned Plexon's growing product line, which today includes everything from electrodes and electrode microdrive positioning systems, to the preamplifiers that isolate and condition the signals, spike sorting and analysis programs, video recording and tracking systems, and other innovations for neurophysiology research.

"A passion for neuroscience research, innovative product development, and dedicated customer support are important reasons for Plexon's longevity and widespread recognition as the industry's standard-bearer," said Harvey Wiggins, Plexon president.

Over the years, Plexon has played a significant role in supplying equipment for research projects that have had a significant impact on the scientific community's understanding of the brain. Research areas include:

neuroprosthetics and brain-machine interface research basic sensory perception and motor control attention, cognition, and decision-making learning, memory, and emotional processing sleep studies Some notable Plexon customers over the years include:

Richard Andersen, Caltech Samuel Deadwyler, Wake Forest University School of Medicine Robert Desimone, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT Howard Eichenbaum, Boston University Earl Miller, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT Miguel Nicolelis, Duke University Andrew Schwartz, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Joe Tsien, Medical College of Georgia "Although Plexon's systems are not inexpensive, they represent a very good lifetime value given their reliability and durability," said Dr. Wiebe. "Many of the original systems sold over a decade ago are still actively used, supporting multiple generations of scientists and contributing to the results of long-standing neurological studies. We take pride in our ongoing relationships with our customers and our customer support, which extends many years after the sale."

Along with the popularity of the MAP system, Plexon has grown steadily over the years. Plexon now employs 25 people in Dallas, Texas, serving more than 400 neuroscience research labs, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies.

For more information about Plexon or the MAP system, contact Sherman Wiebe at 214-369-4957 or visit http://www.plexoninc.com.

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