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Tips for implanting rodent pups with the Epoch wireless recording system

The Epoch system enables recording 2 or 4 channels of EEG from neonatal rodents as young as postnatal day 10 (P10) in mice and P6 in rats using the 2-week transmitter. Implanting pups can be tricky—their skulls are very thin and the small size of the animals is difficult to work with. Yet, their value as neonatal models of human disease is key to developing new therapies or understanding neural dysfunction at such an early age.

Our experience has led to the following tips for maximizing the success of implanted pups:

  1. Allow pups time to recover. Although recordings can commence immediately, we recommend waiting 24 hours before commencing recordings to allow a fuller recovery.
  1. Limit recording time. Recording from rodent pups should be limited to about 2 h at a time, preferably in a temperature- and humidity-controlled incubator.
  1. Keep pre-weened pups in their dam’s presence as often as possible. Pups rely on the dam for complete care.
  1. Cull the litter to 4-6 pups. The dam may have issues with pups that are overly cold, not feeding often enough, or simply due to the presence of the transmitter.
  1. Implant all pups. It may be helpful to implant all pups in a litter either with Epoch transmitters or sham transmitters (sham transmitters are available, contact us).
  1. Use chew toys to prevent damage from the dam. Chew toys, such as nylabones, may help prevent the dam from chewing on the transmitters.
  1. Mind the state of the dam. Ultimately, the health and disposition of the dam may affect how she tolerates pups implanted with the Epoch transmitters.

Epoch, the smallest wireless EEG transmitter system available, is provided by BIOPAC to make quality EEG recordings from an early age possible. The Epoch transmitter is simply implanted to the skull of the animal with medical cyanoacrylate, requiring no bone screws. Surgery is quick and simple, requiring a small incision on the scalp, removal of the periosteum with 1% hydrogen peroxide, drilling small holes for the electrodes using a burr-type drill, implanting the transmitter, and re-absorbable sutures.

For more information on BIOPAC’s wide range of tools for recording, displaying, and analyzing EEG signals from human and animal subjects, including automated EEG analysisseizure detection, evoked responses and many others, visit BIOPAC’s EEG Analysis page or view BIOPAC’s full line of electrodes, amplifiers, and wearable, wireless transmitters and loggers.

BIOPAC Systems, Inc. provides life science researchers and educators with data acquisition and analysis systems that inspire people and enable greater discovery about life. Visit us at

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