TaiNi, a novel wireless neural recording system based on a customized Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) created using innovative ultralow power design techniques.
Circuit blocks incorporated in the ASIC include low-noise neural amplifiers & filters, high-precision analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), digital multiplexing circuits and low-power wireless RF transmission blocks. Benefiting from this system-on-chip (SoC) innovation, it maximizes the system’s performances while reducing the total weight down to 1.5g. This system represents a significant advance in scalable recording systems for small rodents and provides a robust foundation for additional designs
TaiNi, a novel ultra-lightweight (starting from 1.5g) low power wireless neural recording system allowing ultra-long hours (up to 120 hrs) of recording from 16 channels sampled at up to ~19.5 kHz (9.7 kHz bandwidth) for each channel. It captures EEG signals, local field potentials (LFP), action-potentials (AP) and EMG activities while animals (e.g mice, rat) engage in unrestricted behaviour in a variety of environments and while performing tasks.
Together with our TAINILIVE software, users are able to view the live recorded signals while configuring the recording settings or running animal experiments.
TAINI system can also be synchronized with other external systems, such as video tracking, which allows the recorded data to be synchronized to animals’ behaviour with sub-second precision.
TAINI Products ( Key Specifications)
|TAINI Device Model Name||Battery Lifetime (hours)||Enclosure Type||Weight (gram)||Number of Channel||Sampling Rate per Channel (samples/second)||-3dB Acquisition Bandwidth (Hz)||Simultaneous System Recording|
|TAINI 20/16/72/NOA||72||No Enclosure ||1.5||16||19500||0.35 to 9700|
Typically 4 transmitters in the same room 
|TAINI 20/16/72/LOA||72||Lightweight||1.8||16||19500||0.35 to 9700|
|TAINI 20/16/120/LOA||120||Lightweight||2.2||16||19500||0.35 to 9700|
|TAINI 20/16/72/SOA||72||Strengthened||2.1||16||19500||0.35 to 9700|
|TAINI 20/16/120/SOA||120||Strengthened||2.4||16||19500||0.35 to 9700|
|TAINI 01/16/72/LOA||72||Lightweight||1.8||16||1220||0.35 to 600|| |
Typically 8 transmitters in the same room 
|TAINI 01/16/120/LOA||120||Lightweight||2.2||16||1220||0.35 to 600|
|TAINI 01/16/72/SOA||72||Strengthened||2.1||16||1220||0.35 to 600|
|TAINI 01/16/120/SOA||120||Strengthened||2.4||16||1220||0.35 to 600|
 TAINI enclosure provides a limited level of water-splash resistant and mechanical protection to the TAINI transmitter, it is especially important when users wanna run long recordings while animals need to have access to food and water.
 Customized solutions are available to help users run more TAINI transmitters (e.g. 8, 16 and 32) simultaneously
General Technical Specifications
|Supply voltage range||1||1.4||Volt|
|Average current draw||2||mA|
|Peak current draw||2.5||mA|
|Battery capacity||180/310||mAh||typical Zinc Air battery (size code 312 & 13)|
|Number of channel||16|
|Input voltage range||13||mV (pk-pk)||maximal input signal|
|Common mode rejection ratio (CMRR)||78||dB|
|Power supply rejection ratio (PSRR)||>46||dB|
|Input referred noise||3.9||µV (RMS)||0.35 to 9700Hz|
Wireless Communication Characteristics
|Transmission range||2.5||meter||received SNR = 20 dB (dependent on experiment set-up)|
|Transmission protocol||customized protocol with package size of 810 bits|
|Transmission modulation||BASK||digital modulation scheme|
|Typical package loss||1||%||dependent on experiment environment & set-up|
|Length||19||mm||edge to edge (including connector & enclosure)|
|Width||14.5||mm||edge to edge (including connector & enclosure)|
|Height||15.5||mm||edge to edge (including connector & enclosure)|
|Electrode interface||Omnetics A79039-001 connector |
 TAINI transmitters can be also customized with different Electrode Interface connectors
TAINI acquired 16-channel neural signals from in-vivo animal experiments (2s and 0.3s examples)
TaiNi Software Features
The TAINILIVE software that comes with TAINI transmitters allows users to view live signals being received from TAINI transmitters, as well as record them for offline analysis. Some of the benefits of TAINILIVE include:
- Live viewing the signals means that electrode placement can be verified during adjustment, and allows scientists to remotely monitor their animals and verify experimental performance
- TAINILIVE has been designed with a focus on ease-of-use for high throughput experiments, minimising the time required to start and reset experiments so that high-quality data can be produced efficiently
- Synchronisation with other experimental equipment and tools, such as video tracking and stimulus generation, is included in TAINILIVE
- TAINILIVE supports multiple output file formats, allowing recordings to be easily imported into 3rd-party analysis tools and software.
Animal Welfare and Scientific Benefits
The TaiNi device offers significant animal welfare and scientific benefits compared to other wireless and tethered devices on the market (see the Comparison Table). Mice wearing the TaiNi device can freely move around their cage and maintain the normal repertoire of movements and behaviours which are not possible with other wireless and tethered systems.
The ultra-lightweight TaiNi device resulted in significant improvements in the ability to complete trials (e.g. T-maze task), which increases statistical power and reduces the number of animals required for certain experiments. Importantly, recordings using the TaiNi device can now be taken in automated testing arenas linked to the animal’s home cage, where mice have a choice of when they perform behavioural tasks, with the advantage of avoiding repeated handling that can be stressful. Additionally, animals now can be group-housed to conduct innovative social experiments with continuous long-term neural recordings.
Note: More detailed information can be found in the following published paper in Nature Scientific Reports:
Jiang Z, Huxter JR, Bowyer SA, et al., 2017, TaiNi: Maximizing research output whilst improving animals’ welfare in neurophysiology experiments, Scientific Reports, Vol:7, ISSN:2045-232 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-08078-8