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In the course of our research, we develop new and adapt existing designs for scientific instruments.  Whenever possible, we make these designs available to the broader research community. Below is access to selected design files for custom hardware that has been developed for use in-house, or in partnership with collaborators.


Refer to the Terms of Use included in the dowloadable package for each specific system or instrument.  We welcome your feedback and encourage you to share your applications of these tools via our Community Forum.   


A novel high-density neural recording device; Neuropixels probes take advantage of CMOS technology to pack nearly 1000 electrodes onto a shank thinner than a human hair. Neuropixels are utilized in a project conducted in the Allen Brain Observatory, in which spiking activity is recorded from neurons throughout the mouse visual system.

Neuropixels probes are manufactured by imec and can be ordered from the site, with detailed usage information available on the Neuropixels wiki and the Open Ephys wiki. Refer to the Terms of Use through

Publication | Example of use

2" Optics Cubes

A rigid optomechanical assembly for mounting cameras, objective lenses, and dichroic mirrors for widefield microscopy (part ID #0170-000-00).

Publication  |  Download files

Animal Procedure Accessories

Custom instrumention has been created for specialized research purposes at the Allen Institute, such as integrated imaging, behavior and recording studies. These instruments are used by trained personnel in accordance with IACUC approved protocols.  Refer to Terms of Use and limitations for all items.


Hardware or system


Example of use

File access (.zip)

Head-fixed Mouse Behavior Platform 

Hardware designs required for assembling a running wheel in conjunction with other instrumentation (ID #0107-020-00)

Allen Brain Observatory


(116 MB)

Headframe Placement Tooling

Hardware designs for tools that are required for surgical installation of a headframe (ID #0111-200-00)

Allen Brain Observatory


(11.5 MB)

Craniotomy Headframe Clamp

Hardware designs for a clamp to orient a headframe to a stereotaxic alignment system baseplate, for cranial presentation (ID #0155-100-00)

Allen Brain Observatory


(6.6 MB)

Mouse Headframe and Liquid Retention/Light Block Wells

Design specifications for titanium headframe and plastic retention well utilized for physiological recordings in head-fixed mice (ID #0160-010-00)

Allen Brain Observatory


(2.4 MB)

Headframe Clamp Assembly

Hardware designs for a clamping system used to position mice in a reproducible stereotaxic location, in conjunction with other instrumentation (ID #0160-310-00)

Allen Brain Observatory


(12.2 MB)

Isoflurane Scavenging Scoop

Custom assembly for installation of an adapter to scavenge waste anesthetic gases from procedure stations (ID #0209-110-00)

Allen Brain Observatory


(3.4 MB)

SLAP2 microscope system

Light Blocking and Dust Removal Enclosure designed to enclose the backend of the SLAP2 microscope



(20 MB)