You need better head fixation solutions
Conventional head fixing devices have limited application range
For head-fixed in vivo experiments, current available head fixing devices apply to only a few well-defined and standard experimental paradigms. These are mainly large flat head plates that can hinders sensory inputs and do not integrate additional measurements. For unconventional experimental designs which involves, e.g., less studied brain regions, particular spatial constraints and multimodal recordings, researchers often have to settle for modifications of standard devices or home-made improvisations.
In-house design and production are rarely accessible
In-house design and production can be an alternative solution. This is, however, accessible for only a small number of labs equipped with a machine shop, and it requires a lot of time and technical know-how, which is not commonly found in biology institutes.
Head fixation is needed for more than just head-fixed experiments
Instruments like electrode or optical fibre connectors are routinely and repeatedly connected to and disconnected from the animal’s head. When carried out manually, a big force might be exerted onto both the head implant and the animal. For example, for the split mating sleeve used to connect the optogenetic cannula to the patch cable, the connecting force is from 7 to 14 N, which is 30 to 60 times the weight of a mouse. This force can induce huge stress and possible injury to the animal, as well as damage to the head implant.
Ymetry’s disruptive head fixing solution
Fully customized design service
Ymetry developed a fast-speed, integrative design and manufacture process, which enables realization of virtually any conceivable head fixation implant. No matter if you are targeting a hard-to-access brain region, or your setup imposes tricky spatial constraints, or you aim to carry out several manipulations and recordings simultaneously, we offer virtually unlimited possibilities in the design of your implant.
We collect from you all the the technical requirements of your experimental paradigm, from the model animal to the specific experimental setups. Then we come up with the design of the prototype that can meet all your requirements. Prototypes are fabricated and sent to you for validation. Once they are validated, we produce and deliver the required quantity of your custom-design implants. Please visit the fully-customized page for the detailed description of the procedures.
Apart from the disruptive innovation of the design approach, Ymetry employs cutting edge 3D printing technologies of medical grade titanium, making our products extremely resistant, rigid, and light-weighted. A lot more of their advantages are explained on the Benefits page.
We have already successfully implemented several product lines in a number of laboratories. Some of these are available in the form of starter kits in our catalogue. Our products are briefly introduced below. You may also consult our catalogue to see detailed descriptions of our products and get inspired for your own fully-customized solution.
Head Fixing Implants
These implants are designed to provide:
- a light-weighted and stable platform for accommodating experimental instruments;
- an ease-to-use, highly repeatable and resistant head fixation of animals.
As discussed above, you need head fixation for either the head-fixed experiments or, simply, stress-free connection and disconnection of instruments, or both. Our implants are used for in vivo imaging, electrophysiology and optogenetics, respectively or combined. Models exist for mice and rats. There's no limit in the brain regions that you want to target. Generally, the implants consist of a base to be fixed onto the skull of the animal and a dovetail to be locked with our fast and repeatable fixation system. The base, depending on the application, provides support for cranial windows, electrodes and/or optical fibers, etc. Additional equipments such accelerometer and Faraday shield can also be integrated into the implant.
The fast and repeatable fixation system allows effortless head fixation of the animal within seconds and without tools. All these features eliminate the stress usually involved in handling of the animal. Once head-fixed, instruments like connectors can be effortlessly connected or disconnected without the fear of hurting the animal or the instruments. The fixation is extremely stable and rigid, allowing stable microscopic and electrophysiological recording. The region of interest of your recording is easily recovered every time due to the repeatability of the fixation.
Our implants are completed with several fixation systems. The core feature of them is the dovetail. It provides fast, stable and repeatable fixation. Depending your needs, several sizes and integration methods are available. Moreover, the fixation system can also be customized if you have specific needs.
In addition, we provide tools and accessories for our implants and fixations, such as:
- drilling templates for implants
- Faraday closing and protective caps
- adaptation for stereotaxic table
- stereotaxic alignment tools for rats and mice