Improvement of Mechanical Stability for Single Unit Recording Based on Skull Cap in Living Chinchilla
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Three-point head fixation was constructed to provide mechanical stability for single unit recording (SUR) on vestibular sensory system in living chinchilla previously. However, it is no more qualified to this work when the stimulation intensity becomes large because of frequent unit losing and neuron damage, which strongly implies that the mechanical stability has been broken during the stimulation. Here, we constructed a novel head fixation (skull cap assistant head fixation) provided by skull cap on the basis of three-point head fixation in order to improve the mechanical stability for SUR under the stimulation with large magnitude. The large area bone connection is the feature and advantage of this improved method, which directly fixes the tested local nervous tissue and microelectrode in an intact stable system through skull cap except two ear bars and a tube face mask. Our data exhibited that skull cap assistant head fixation could significantly improve the success rate of neural response activity recording in the population of semicircular canal neurons under the stimulation with large intensity (amplitude ≥100 deg/s). Based on the analysis of neural response activity and noise base-line during stimulation, our data further indicated that this method could significantly improve the mechanical stability for SUR during high-speed motion stimulation on vestibular system in living chinchilla. Skull cap assistant head fixation extends the application of SUR on vestibular neuron in linear response range and provides a solid foundation for electrophysiological research on vestibular sensory system in further studies.
Key wordssingle unit recording skull cap mechanical stability improvement semicircular canal neurons
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We are indebted to Assistant Prof. Chenkai DAI, Registered Veterinary Technician Kelly Lane, and PhD candidate Kristin Hageman, for their useful advices to help us improve the method.
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