Crawdad logo Sources & Suppliers
Site Index:   Page Index:


We would be happy to take suggestions for additional sources to add to this list. Please send suggestions to, including a complete address and the useful items. Conversely, if there is some supply or piece of equipment that you have trouble finding, let us know and we will add our source for it to this page.

To subscribe to the list, send a message to with "subscribe crawdad-L <your real name>" in the body of the message.


In addition to the sources cited below, be sure to check our downloads page for do-it-yourself designs. Currently, we have a designs for an inexpensive extracellular amplifier and suction electrode.

Supplier Useful Items

A-M Systems, Inc.
11627-A Airport Road
Everett, WA 98204
1-800-426-1306 phone
1-360-683-3525 fax

Extracellular amplifiers ("Model 1700")
Intracellular amplifier ("Neuroprobe")
-- Note AC powered model is sufficient
Electrode glass
Fine wire (silver, platinum, steel)

A-M regularly has sales on these amplifiers

3486 Investment Boulevard
Hayward, CA 94545
1-800-432-3424 phone

New and used (refurbished) oscilloscopes and other equipment at reasonable prices.

Tucker Instruments
P.O. Box 551419
Dallas, TX 75355-1419
1-800-527-4642 phone

Good source for less-expensive digital oscilloscopes
May have used equipment at reasonable prices

World Precision Instruments
International Trade Center
157 Sarasota Center Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34240-9258
1-941-371-1003 phone
1-941-377-5428 fax

Relatively inexpensive micromanipulators, such as the Taurus or Kite (good for extracellular) and MM33 (good for intra- and extracellular). Both manipulators clamp to 12 mm diameter rods.

See Enco, below, for magnetic bases and 12 mm rods to hold micromanipulators.


Data Acquisition

We do not have a lot of experience with data acquisition systems, having relied for years on an old A/D board and custom-written software. Thus we do not have any specific recommendations. If any Crawdad users have reviewed systems or would like to contribute their comments on any of these, we would like to hear from you (

Data acqusition requirements for neurophysiology are not particularly stringent. All you really need is two channels of input and two channels of output, with a minimum sampling rate of 10 kHz (20 kHz is nice at times, as is 100 kHz for electric fish signals). Our advice is to preview the software as closely as possible before buying a system. If the software is overly complex or is difficult to use, you will spend a lot of time helping your students with the software and have less time to teach neurobiology!

Supplier Useful Items

AD Instruments, Inc.
2205 Executive Circle
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
1-888-965-6040 phone
1-719-576-3971 fax

PowerLab (formerly MacLab) A/D board and software for Macintosh and Windows. Connects by USB or SCSI. Educational discounts available.

GW Instruments, Inc.
35 Medford St.
Somerville, MA 02143-4237
1-617-625-4096 phone
1-617-625-1322 fax

InstruNet A/D board and software for Macintosh and Windows. PCI slot required.

National Instruments, Inc.
6504 Bridge Point Pkwy
Austin, TX 78730-5039
1-512-794-0100 phone
1-512-794-8411 fax

Large variety of acqusition boards, LabView software for Macintosh and Windows. Boards connect by PCI, USB, Firewire, or PCMCIA.

WaveMetrics, Inc.
P.O. Box 2088
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
1-503-620-3001 phone
1-503-620-6754 fax

Igor Pro. Excellent software for display and analysis of waveform data. Available for Macintosh and Windows.

Extensions are available to support many of the data acquisition boards mentioned here.



Supplier Useful Items

A-M Systems, Inc.
11627-A Airport Road
Everett, WA 98204
1-800-426-1306 phone
1-360-683-3525 fax

Electrode glass
Fine wire (silver, platinum, steel)


Cole-Parmer Instrument Co.
625 East Bunker Court
Vernon Hills, IL 60061
1-800-323-4340 phone
1-847-247-2929 fax

Tubing for suction electrodes.

Suitable tubing can be found at many different suppliers; this is just one that we know of.

Laboratory Product Sales
1665 Buffalo Rd.
Rochester, NY 14627
1-800-388-0166 phone
1-726-247-6686 fax

Gel-filling pipette tips (catalog L112402) for suction electrodes.

These are probably available from any biological supply company; this is just the source we use.

Patterson Dental Company
1031 Mendota Heights Road
St. Paul, MN 55120
1-800-328-5536 phone
(check web for local distributor)

Sticky blue wax, good for holding dissecting dishes etc. in place.

Item 07 457-5221 Periphery wax

Wolcott-Park, Inc.
1700 Hudson Ave.
Rochester, NY 14617
1-585-342-3120 phone
1-585-342-3176 fax

Sylgard for dissection dishes:
item 184 A/B ET110515

Or check for a local supplier.

Warner Instrument Corp.
1141 Dixwell Ave.
Hamden, CT 06514
1-800-599-4203 phone
1-203-776-1278 fax

AgCl "pellet" electrode (catalog # E242) for a long-lasting ground electrode.



Because crayfish are used in restaurants, there are many suppliers. These are just the ones we have used or that have been recommended to us by others. Procambarus and Helix cannot be shipped into California because of agricultural regulations. However, Helix is readily found in gardens and Procambarus can be found at bait shops in California; these items may also be available from a California supplier (Niles, see below).

Note: Do not release unused crayfish or snails into the wild. Both can be invasive and may displace local species. Besides, it may be against state laws. Check with your state agriculture departmen tor other relevant agency.

There appear to be new USDA regulations regarding Helix aspersa. Some suppliers will not ship without a USDA permit, others may. The situation is unclear right now. Some info may be found at

Weakly electric fish (used in Lab 1, Membrane Properties) can be found at well-stocked pet stores, but usually in small quantities. It is best to start looking for them well ahead of time. Pulse fish like the "baby whales", "roundnose whales", and "elephant nose" are the most interesting for the lab, but it is interesting to check a wave fish ("brown ghost" or "black ghost" knifefish) as well. A search of the internet reveals several stores that sell these fish, but we have no experience ordering fish and cannot recommend any particular suppliers.

Supplier Useful Items
Atchafalaya Biological Supply
832 St. Phillip Street
Raceland, LA 70394
1-504-537-3135 phone

Carolina Biological Supply
2700 York Road
Burlington, NC 27215
1-800-334-5551 phone
1-800-222-7112 fax

Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii ) size "large" is easiest to work with.

Alga (Chara corallina )

(Carolina doesn't specify land snail species, but they appear not to be Helix aspersa.)

Connecticut Valley Biological
82 Valley Road
P.O. Box 326
Southampton, MA 01073
1-800-628-7748 phone
1-800-355-6813 fax

Land snails (Helix aspersa) - may not be available now without USDA permit.

Connecticut's crayfish are smaller than Carolina's and are not Procambarus. However, they may be available at times when Procambarus is not.

William A. Lemberger
P.O. Box 2482
Oshkosh, WI 54903

Niles Biological
9298 Elder Creek Road
Sacramento, CA 95829
916-386-2665 phone
916-381-4006 fax

Crayfish (species not specified).

Land snails (USDA permit required for shipment outside of California).

Southern Scientific, Inc.
McKenzie, TN 38201
800-748-8735 phone
800-770-6265 fax

Crayfish ("large" is probably Procambarus, cannot be shipped to California).

Land snails (Helix aspersa). These may be available without a USDA permit.



The suppliers listed below do not sell equipment specifically for neurobiology, or even specifically for scientific use. However, they do have many useful items, especially if you want to save money by fabricating your own equipment or electronics. It's worth requesting catalogs from these companies; inspiration will come later!

Supplier Useful Items

All Electronics
P.O. Box 567
Van Nuys, CA 91408-0567
1-800-826-5432 phone
1-818-781-2653 fax

Electronic parts and equipment, unusual small parts. Selection varies and is smaller than the big suppliers, but if they have it, they will probably have the best price.

Allied Electronics, Inc.
7410 Pebble Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76118
(phone for nearest location)
1-800-433-5700 phone

All manner of electronic parts and equipment, including cable, BNC adapters, voltmeters, and so on.

Digi-Key Corporation
701 Brooks Ave. South
Thief River Falls, MN 56701-0677
1-800-344-4539 phone
1-218-681-3380 fax

All manner of electronic parts and equipment, including cable, BNC adapters, voltmeters, and so on.

Enco Manufacturing Co.
400 Nevada Pacific Highway
Fernley, NV 89408
1-800-873-3626 phone
1-800-965-5857 fax

Magnetic bases at low cost (model 635-0330).
Many useful mechanical items.

36" long 12 mm diameter steel rods (model 505-0242; 6" piece required for micromanipulators).

Hosfelt Electronics
2700 Sunset Blvd.
Steubenville, OH 43952-1158
1-800-524-6464 phone
1-800-524-5414 fax

Electronic parts and equipment. Selection varies and is smaller than the big suppliers, but if they have it, they will probably have the best price.

BNC to 1/8" mini plug adapter (useful with the Radio Shack audio monitor, and usually hard to find). Item 963.

Newark Electronics
(phone for nearest location)
1-800-463-9275 phone

All manner of electronic parts and equipment, including cable, BNC adapters, voltmeters, and so on.

Radio Shack
600 One Tandy Center
Fort Worth, TX 76102

All manner of electronic parts and equipment, including cable, BNC adapters, voltmeters, and so on.

Audio monitor 277-1008; AC adapter 277-1455.

Small Parts, Inc.
13980 N.W. 58th Court
P.O. Box 4650
Miami Lakes, FL 33014-0650
1-800-220-4242 phone
1-800-423-9009 fax

Many useful small mechanical parts;
use your imagination!

They have 6" long 12 mm diameter steel rods (required for manipulators), but they are expensive. You may prefer to lathe a 1/2" diameter aluminum rod or cut a 36" steel rod from Enco instead.



Disclaimer: Neither Cornell University nor the National Science Foundation endorses any particular supplier. We include these addresses as a service for those who have asked us where to obtain parts or supplies. Obviously, we cannot take responsibility for the suitability of any equipment obtained through these suppliers, etc. etc. etc.

Page content updated 2 April, 2012  §  Web site by .