Fast and precise head-fixation of small rodents
We combine the strength of modelling and cutting-edge titanium 3D printing to design and manufacture head implants, fixation systems, and stereotaxic tools for small rodents. Our products are patented, novel solutions for facilitating head-fixed, in vivo experiments, such as 2-photon imaging and electrophysiological recording, etc. Compared to other existing fixation methods such as "head plates", our solutions offer the a variety of advantages:
The core technology of Ymetry is custom design. We have produced a variety of ready-to-use implants that have been successfully implemented in different experimental paradigms. To meet specific experimental requirements, we provide fully customized ordering, from adaptation of existing models to totally new designs from scratch.
Unlimited adaptability and multi-modality
There is no constraint on the choice of brain regions to study. Contrary to a head-plate fixation with the application angle restricted to the horizontal plane above the animal head, we offer fixation solutions adapted to any application situation without compromising stability and portability of the implant. In addition, our implants allow integration of multiple measurement systems on the same animal, including but not limited to 2-photon microscopy, optogenetics, imaging with optical fibers and endoscopes, electrophysiology (EEG, EMG, LFP, unit activity, micro-stimulation, etc), and drug delivery.
Shortened surgery time
Thanks to its highly integrated and adapted design, the time spent to install the implant and associated instruments like microscopes and electrodes is largely reduced, and less trauma is induced to the animal. This is greatly beneficial for the well-being of the animal and its recovery from surgery. The researcher also enjoys greater efficiency and ease of experiments.
The grade 23 Titanium alloy is strictly the same as that used for human, and our printing process is ISO 13485 certified. The maximum biocompatibility is guaranteed.
Fast and stress-free head fixation
Head fixation can be achieved in a few seconds without any additional tool. The stress during handling and the fixation procedure is greatly reduced for both the animal and the experimenter.
Our head fixation implants are made of titanium, a low-density and high-strength metal. Combined with its optimized hollow structure, a typical mouse head fixation implant for microscopy weighs only 1 gram, which is very light for the mouse head and does not interfere with the mouse behaviour. Small platform implants can weigh as little as 0.4 gram, leaving enough weight budget for your instrumentation.
Our implant is highly rigid and strong. All mechanical properties are optimized to your specific needs and simulated with Finite Element Analysis even before manufacturing. For example, the displacement of the head of a fixed mouse amounts to merely 2 to 3 microns during its most fierce movements, thus ensuring high quality 2-photon microscopy. For electrophysiological recordings, our implants provide a rigid container for the electrodes, which can prevent electrode displacement and damage to the brain due to various external forces induced by, e.g., connection/disconnection of electrode connectors, animal behaviour in the home cage, etc.
Once properly installed, the implant firmly adheres to the mouse skull for months, without the fear of detachment. The implant can also stabilize the skull if the craniotomy is close to sutures. Also thanks to its material, the implant is resistant to torsion, friction and erosion, thus ideal for long-term use.
Combined with our fixation system, the animal head is always fixed into the same position with cellular-level repeatability. The time to retrieve the region of interest between recordings is largely reduced for the experimenter.
Minimal interference with animal behaivor
Our implants are designed to avoid hindering the sensory fields of the animal, be it visual, auditory, somatosensory or other. Also the animal is as free as before implantation, and its behavior repertoire is well preserved.