Equipment and fees

The facility is designed to house state-of-the-art programs in approximately 2400 square feet with separate facilities for rat and mouse research.

Equipment and facilities

Currently, researchers have access to the following equipment and facilities:

  • In vivo imaging, photometry, and electrophysiology equipment

  • Laser, power, and sensor equipment

  • Designated rat and mouse surgical suites

  • Workspace for trainees to analyze data (including 3 super-computers for large dataset processing)

  • Behavioural monitoring and assessment equipment

  • Animal climate-controlled bio-cabinets and peripherals, such as equipment carts and other tools

  • Half-way house facilities

  • Rooms that are allocated for long-term use and certified for Biosafety Level 2

  • Specialized animal care provided by the Animal Resource Centre in the long-term rooms

  • Noise abatement built-in to all rooms

  • Miniature microscopes from Inscopix; platform staff attended a hands-on training course and Inscopix technical staff visited the optogenetics team to assist with the first series of implantations

  • A wireless optogenetics system from Neurolux was purchased, implemented, and is currently in use

  • Three single fibre photometry systems. The team developed and tested the systems in various configurations and the rigs are now functional and heavily used to produce data

  • LED light sources, lasers, and stimulator units for in vitro and in vivo use

  • A motorized and a manual stereotaxic rig and tools for mouse surgeries

  • A virtual reality stage for head-fixed mice

Open Neuroscience - Innovative Research Tools

Our team is actively involved in research and developing innovative solutions for data processing and analysis, in addition to developing customized and integrated hardware/software solutions not found commercially.

Visual Gait Lab

Gait Analysis

Crowdsource annotation tools

Crowdsource annotation tools

EMG and fiber-photometry analysis pipeline

EMG and fiber-photometry analysis pipeline

DAQ synchronization

DAQ synchronization

Homecage wheel

Homecage wheel

Running wheel for gait analysis

Running wheel for gait analysis

Custom-made solutions

Plugins, macros, others

  • ImageJ/FIJI StackRoi: Automatic duplication of ROIs in a image stack.

  • WholeBrain WholeBrainSorter: Master spreadsheet with cell counts from all brain regions.

  • Deeplabcut: Segmentation of behavioral data (soon).

Workshop tools

  • 3D printers

  • CO2 laser cutting machine

  • Rotary tool kit

  • Soldering station

Workshop micro-controllers and sensors

  • Arduino

  • Raspberry Pi

  • Nordic semiconductor

  • High-speed cameras, thermal camera, accelerometer, etc.

General Behavior

Open Field

General activity, thigmotaxic behaviour, anxiety, exploration (Standard Protocol).

Example of original research and topical review

 

Basso Mouse Scale (BMS)

General locomotion (Standard Protocol and original publication).

 

Cognition/Learning and Memory

Morris Water Maze

Spatial memory and associative learning (Standard Protocol).

Example of original Facility supported research and topical review.

Radial Arm Maze

Working and reference memory, associative learning, and spatial memory (Standard Protocol).

Example of original research and topical review.

Novel Object Recognition

Novelty and object recognition (Standard Protocol).

Example of original Facility supported research and topical review.

Cued/Contextual Fear Conditioning

(Standard Protocol).

Example of original research and topical review.

Barnes Maze

(Standard Protocol). Topical review.

 

Emotionality

Forced Swim Test (Porsolt)

Depression, learned helplessness, coping with stress (Standard Protocol). Example of original Facility supported research and topical review.

Elevated Plus Maz

Anxiety (Standard Protocol).

Example of original Facility supported research and topical review.

3-Chambered Sociability Test

Sociability, social memory and novelty (Standard Protocol).

Example of original Facility supported research and topical review.

 

Movement Analysis and Sensorimotor Behavior

RotaRod

Balance and bilateral coordination (kindly donated by Dr. Cory Toth) (Standard Protocol).

Example of original Facility supported research and topical review.

Beam Traversal (various sizes)

Skilled locomotion and balance (Standard Protocol).

Example of original research and topical review.

Horizontal Ladder

Skilled locomotion, coordination, and motor learning (Standard Protocol).

Example of original Facility supported research and topical review.

DigiGait

Gait kinematics (Standard Protocol).

Example of original research and topical review.

Grip Strength

Strength and strength/weight ratio (Standard Protocol).

Example of original research and topical review.

Dynamic Plantar Aesthesiometer (DPA)

Mechanical sensitivity (kindly donated by Dr. Cory Toth) (Standard Protocol).

Example of original Facility supported research and topical review.

Vicon (Nexus)

Kinematic analysis of gait and locomotion (topical review).

Hot Plate Test

Thermal pain sensitivity (kindly donated by Dr. Quentin Pittman).

Example of original research and topical review.

 

Optical, Optogenetic, and Electrophysiological Tools

Miniature Cameras

Four Inscopix nVista head mounted mini-scope systems for targeting, visualizing, and recording population-scale neural activity with cellular resolution in pre-determined cell types (https://www.inscopix.com/products/nVista). See for example: https://www.inscopix.com/about/publications.

Fibre Photometry

One fiber photometry set-up with a TDT RZ5P processor running TDT synapse software (http://www.tdt.com/fiber-photometry-rz5p.html). This system uses two modulated channels of light, one 470 for GCamP and one 405nm for motion artifact control. The light is modulated/demodulated to filter out ambient light and evaluate overall fluorescence activity of a fluorescent indicator (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2015.07.014).

Optogenetics

Photostimulation in vivo using 473 and 593 nm lasers to stimulate or inhibit targeted cell populations. The light is delivered through an optical fibre directly into the brain. HALO will soon have a complete NeuroLux Optogenetics System which will also users to photostimulate wirelessly. The system provides the complete hardware and software system along with a simple interface to allow users to adjust frequency and pulse duration, and to apply burst mode that is compatible with a TTL input system (http://www.neurolux.org/product-overview/product-information/).

In vivo Electrophysiology

One 32 channel system for in vivo electrophysiology from Spike Gadgets for neural recording from freely-moving mice (http://www.spikegadgets.com/hardware/standard_sys_32.html) that uses a hybrid approach that interfaces with an open-source software platform.

Equipment and room fees

Fees

Hourly fees

Lasers

$10.00

Photometry

$25.00

Miniscope

$40.00

Behavioral apparatus

$20.00

Behavioral room

$15.00

Surgical room

$25.00

Work station

$20.00

3D printer

$5.00

Daily fees

LEDs

$10.00

Cabinet

$10.00

Staff (hourly rate)

Surgeries

$70.00

Data analysis

$50.00

Custom-build apparatus

$75.00

Miscellaneous

"No show" fee

$150.00

Annual caps

Behavioral

$6,500.00

Behavioral & optical/optogenetics

$8,550.00

Work stations

$3,000.00

Surgical services

Cranial window implantation surgeries

  1. Two photon imaging
    • 3 mm unilateral cranial window (2h)
    • 5 mm unilateral cranial window (2.5h)
    • 3 mm bilateral cranial window (RSC; ACC; Motor) (3h)
    • 5 mm bilateral cranial window (Multiple regions) (3.5h)
    • Micro-prism implantation in cerebral fissure
      • Medial prefrontal cortex (4h)
      • Anterior cingulate cortex (3.5h)
      • Retrosplenial cortex (3.5h)
    • Small cylinder implantation in Hippocampus CA1 (3h)
    • Auditory cortex cranial window (2.5h)
    • Perirhinal cortex cranial window (4h)
    • Dual cranial windows implantation (RSP+CA1) (5h)
    • Customized design of cranial window implantation
  2. Whole brain functional ultrasound imaging
    • 8x10 mm chronic craniotomy with PMP film implantation (4.5h)
  3. Wide-field mesoscale imaging
    • Voltage sensitive dye imaging
      • 8*8 mm Bilateral cranial window with dura removal (4.5h)
      • 7x6mm unilateral cranial window with dura removal (4h)
    • Chronic imaging
      • Auditory cortex +dorsal cortex cranial window (5h)
      • 8*8 mm Bilateral intact skull cranial window (2h)
      • 7x6mm unilateral intact skull cranial window (2.5h)
    • Customized design of cranial window implantation

Stereotaxic surgery

  1. Virus injection
    • GRIN lens implantation
    • Optical fiber implantation
    • Brain cannulation
    • Timing: Complex procedure: 3.5h; others: 2h
    • Customized design targeting difficult sites: deep and midline structures (PVN…), brain stem and cerebrum, Et al

Spinal cord surgery

  1. Laminectomy (3.5h)

Brain biopsy (3h)

Others

  1. Monocular deprivation (30m)
  2. Common carotid artery surgery (injection, ligation) (3h)
  3. Retroorbital injection(20m)
  4. Tracheotomy(1h)
  5. Chronic EMG implantation (30m)
  6. Brain surface EEG implantation (20m)
  7. EKG implantation (20m)

In vivo imaging

  1. Functional ultrasound imaging (base line: 2h)

Surgery training

Surgical suite set up

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