High precision positioning for surgical brain implants. Many experimental paradigms require surgical insertion of electrodes, cannulae, or syringes into a specific brain area. Current methodology for surgical insertion in rodents relies on atlas coordinates and measurements to orient and direct the probe. However, the atlas does not take into account variations due to strain, size, age, and individual differences in skull and brain structures. Furthermore, initial positioning is based on visible markers on the rodent's skull, which are known to be inaccurate. Thus, up to 50% of the experiments are often irrelevant, resulting in significant loss of animals, time and money. The current technology overcomes these problems by facilitating precision of positioning brain implants surgeries in rodents.
• Targeting of specific brain areas in rodents for brain implants surgeries
• Accurate and reliable
• Online validation of positioning
• This tool overcomes differences in skull markers which are due to size, strain, or other individual variability
Using the current method of positioning, the sole indication that the brain structure of interest was successfully targeted can only be achieved post-mortem by histological means. In contrast, the outlined technology consists of a combination between pre-surgery brain MRI and skull x-ray, with x-ray footage taken along the surgery, in order to position online and verify the location of electrodes in high precision. The device also utilizes a novel apparatus that holds the experimental animal in place during the MRI scan, the x-ray imaging, and the surgical operation. This procedure can be implemented to insert any metal guide (e.g., cannulae, syringes, etc.), and adapted for other species.