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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Methodology article

A reliable method for intracranial electrode implantation and chronic electrical stimulation in the mouse brain

Melanie Jeffrey124, Min Lang1, Jonathan Gane1, Chiping Wu14, W McIntyre Burnham24 and Liang Zhang134*

Author Affiliations

1 Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2 Department of Pharmacology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

3 Department of Medicine (Division of Neurology), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

4 University of Toronto Epilepsy Research Program, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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BMC Neuroscience 2013, 14:82  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-14-82

Published: 6 August 2013



Electrical stimulation of brain structures has been widely used in rodent models for kindling or modeling deep brain stimulation used clinically. This requires surgical implantation of intracranial electrodes and subsequent chronic stimulation in individual animals for several weeks. Anchoring screws and dental acrylic have long been used to secure implanted intracranial electrodes in rats. However, such an approach is limited when carried out in mouse models as the thin mouse skull may not be strong enough to accommodate the anchoring screws. We describe here a screw-free, glue-based method for implanting bipolar stimulating electrodes in the mouse brain and validate this method in a mouse model of hippocampal electrical kindling.


Male C57 black mice (initial ages of 6–8 months) were used in the present experiments. Bipolar electrodes were implanted bilaterally in the hippocampal CA3 area for electrical stimulation and electroencephalographic recordings. The electrodes were secured onto the skull via glue and dental acrylic but without anchoring screws. A daily stimulation protocol was used to induce electrographic discharges and motor seizures. The locations of implanted electrodes were verified by hippocampal electrographic activities and later histological assessments.


Using the glue-based implantation method, we implanted bilateral bipolar electrodes in 25 mice. Electrographic discharges and motor seizures were successfully induced via hippocampal electrical kindling. Importantly, no animal encountered infection in the implanted area or a loss of implanted electrodes after 4–6 months of repetitive stimulation/recording.


We suggest that the glue-based, screw-free method is reliable for chronic brain stimulation and high-quality electroencephalographic recordings in mice. The technical aspects described this study may help future studies in mouse models.

Glue; Kindling; Mice