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Twister3 : A fast and efficient tetrode maker

Make 70 tetrodes per hour

 
twister-overview.png
 

Twister3 is simple and fast microwire twister from the Wilson Lab at MIT. It greatly increases the speed and repeatability of constructing twisted microwire neural probes (e.g. stereotrodes and tetrodes) compared to existing options. It is cheap, well documented, and all associated designs and source code are open-source. Twister3 is of interest to any lab performing twisted microwire neural recordings, for example, using tetrode drives.

Detailed documentation on user performance measurements, construction, and usage can be found in the Twister3 manuscript. All associated designs are available on the Twister3 git repository.

Auto-aligning, 3D-printed leaf spring and quick-draw wire feeder

A Quick-draw wire feeder  allows wire to be pulled from up to 4 pre-loaded bobbins. There is  no need to fold wire  before it is twisted.

A Quick-draw wire feeder allows wire to be pulled from up to 4 pre-loaded bobbins. There is no need to fold wire before it is twisted.

An auto-aligning, 3D-printed leaf spring  allows the wire bundle to be  quickly attached  to the twisting motor provides constant wire tension during a twist and can withstand  fast turn rates .

An auto-aligning, 3D-printed leaf spring allows the wire bundle to be quickly attached to the twisting motor provides constant wire tension during a twist and can withstand fast turn rates.

 
 
 

Using the quick-draw and motor attachment mechanisms is easy. The wire bundle is clamped with an alligator clip. The alligator clip is then drawn down to meet the magnet on the twisting attachment and the bundle is automatically forced into into axial alignment. The leaf spring provides tension in equilibrium with the wire. You are now ready to twist a tetrode.

 

Easy to use control electronics for fast twisting

 
The  control box  is used to set twist rates, number of turns turns, etc. It drives to motor  for both twisting probes and re-loading quick-draw bobbins.

The control box is used to set twist rates, number of turns turns, etc. It drives to motor
for both twisting probes and re-loading quick-draw bobbins.

 
 
 

The motor is controlled with an advanced driver capable of interpolated control over 51,200 steps/revolution. The leaf-spring attachment mechanism rigidly constrains the motor and wire axis, but allows wire shortening during the turning. This permits fast twists, up to 1000 RPM.

 

Increase the speed and reliability of tetrode construction in your lab!

 
Tetrode construction time for 3 new users. On average, these users made  70 tetrodes per hour .

Tetrode construction time for 3 new users. On average, these users made 70 tetrodes per hour.

 
 
 
 

Using Twister3, tetrode construction is fast and repeatable. In the above video, two tetrodes are made, from start to finish, in about 35 seconds each. Happy twisting!

 

Licensing

Copyright Jonathan P. Newman & Jakob Voigts 2019

This documentation describes Open Hardware and is licensed under the CERN OHL v.1.2.

You may redistribute and modify this documentation under the terms of the CERN OHL v.1.2. (http://ohwr.org/cernohl). This documentation is distributed WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY, INCLUDING OF MERCHANTABILITY, SATISFACTORY QUALITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Please see the CERN OHL v.1.2 for applicable conditions