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Section on Instrumentation (SI)

The Mission of the Section on Instrumentation is to provide comprehensive engineering support in a collaborative and synergistic environment for research as required by NIMH, NINDS and NICHD scientists.

The Section on Instrumentation Core Facility (formerly Research Services Branch) provides a staff of engineers and technicians to fabricate custom electronic, mechanical, and electromechanical devices and instruments for a full spectrum of biomedical applications. These services include (but are not limited to):

Technical Services Provided

  • Experienced staff of Engineers and Technicians
  • Fabricate custom electronic, mechanical, and electromechanical devices and instruments
  • Full spectrum of applications, from simple to complex mechanical and electronic systems
  • Human, Non-Human Primate, Imaging, and Behavioral testing applications
  • Long-term and immediate requests

Electrical Engineering / Electronic Fabrication Services

  • Analog and Digital Design
  • Custom fabrication of electronic and electro-mechanical instrumentation
  • LabView Programming
  • Electrical noise reduction
  • COTS component selection guidance

Mechanical Engineering / Machine Shop Services

  • 3D scanning and 3D printing
  • Fully equipped machine shop with a full complement of computer controlled and manual mills and lathes
  • Advanced CAD/CAM programming and applications
  • Custom electrophysiology component fabrication and design
  • MRI compatible component fabrication
  • Custom radiopharmaceutical instrumentation for radioactive hot cell research


Recognizing the technological intensity of neurological and behavioral research, the intramural divisions of NIMH, NINDS, and NICHD contributed personnel, space and operating budgets to form a technical support group (currently the Section on Instrumentation, NIMH). For over fifty years this arrangement has efficiently provided for the similar technical needs of these institutes through a centralized group. It has also cultivated the sharing of technical developments, to the benefit of each Institute’s programs.