Research into new drugs targeting neurological conditions often requires high resolution electrophysiological recordings of mice brain activity. Unfortunately due to the electrical characteristics of the signals that need to be measured (i.e. very small amplitude, relatively high bandwidth and corrupted by other signals), the only neural recording systems that can meet all the required specifications are brain tethered systems that severely limit the mobility and condition the behaviour of the animal. This has an outcome not just on the welfare of the animal, but also on the results and conclusions of the experiment. Although a small number of wireless systems have been developed they are still too big for a mouse to carry without effect. Added to this, they achieve their size by compromising at least one of the electrical specifications, which limits the experimental output.
This project will develop a prototype of a wireless 16-32 channel recording system that can acquire and transmit data for a minimum of 24 hours, can be replaced or recharged with minimum discomfort for the animal and is small enough to be carried by a mouse without affecting its behaviour or welfare.
Full details about this CRACK IT Challenge can be found on the CRACK IT website.
Jiang Z, Huxter JR, Bowyer SA, Blockeel AJ, Butler J, Imtiaz SA, Watford KA, Phillips KG, Tricklebank MD, Marston HM and Rodriguez-Villegas E (2017). TaiNi: Maximizing research output whilst improving animals’ welfare in neurophysiology experiments. Scientific Methods doi:10.1038/s41598-017-08078-8.
Contractor(s)Professor Esther Rodriguez-Villegas
Imperial College London