About this item:

31 Views | 17 Downloads

Author Notes:

Nigel P. Pedersen, 101 Woodruff Circle, Sixth Floor, Room 6107, Atlanta GA 30307, USA, Telephone: +1 (404) 778-5934., Email: nigel.pedersen@emory.edu

We thank Dr. Claire-Anne Gutekunst, Emory Neurosurgery, and Drs. Wenyi Wang, Asheebo Rojas and Ray Dingledine, Emory Pharmacology, for feedback about use of the headplate, including earlier iterations of the design.

The authors have no other conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K08NS105929 (to NPP). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health; Laboratory Support was also provided by the Woodruff Foundation (NPP); KJZ was supported by an Alfred H. Gibeling Family Research Fund Award and a Georgia Institute of Technology President’s Undergraduate Research Aware (PURA, 2018).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Biochemical Research Methods
  • Neurosciences
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • EEG recording
  • 3D printing
  • Mouse surgery
  • Neural networks
  • Chronic recording
  • Headplate
  • LFP
  • Local field potential
  • Depth electrodes
  • ECoG
  • Microdrive
  • Computer aided design
  • Sleep-wake
  • Epilepsy

Reconfigurable 3D-Printed headplates for reproducible and rapid implantation of EEG, EMG and depth electrodes in mice


Journal Title:



Volume 333


, Pages 108566-108566

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background: Mouse models are beneficial to understanding neural networks given a wide array of transgenic mice and cell-selective techniques. However, instrumentation of mice for neurophysiological studies is difficult. Often surgery is prolonged with experimental error arising from non-concurrent and variable implantations. New method: We describe a method for the rapid, reproducible and customizable instrumentation of mice. We constructed a headplate that conforms to the mouse skull surface using script-based computer aided design. This headplate was then modified to enable the friction-fit assembly prior to surgery and printed with a high-resolution resin-based 3D printer. Using this approach, we describe an easily customized headplate with dural screws for electrocorticography (ECoG), electromyogram (EMG) electrodes, cannula hole and two microdrives for local field potential (LFP) electrodes. Results: Implantation of the headplate reliably takes less than 40 min, enabling a cohort of eight mice to be implanted in one day. Good quality recordings were obtained after surgical recovery and the headplate was stable for at least four weeks. LFP electrode placement was found to be accurate. Comparison with existing methods: While similar approaches with microelectrodes have been used in rats before, and related approaches exist for targeting one brain region with tetrodes, we do not know of similar head-plates for mice, nor a strictly source-code and easily reconfigurable approach. Conclusions: 3D printing and friction-fit pre-assembly of mouse headplates offers a rapid, easily reconfigurable, consistent, and cost-effective way to implant larger numbers of mice in a highly reproducible way, reducing surgical time and mitigating experimental error.

Copyright information:

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/rdf).
Export to EndNote