Subcutaneous Versus Intraperitoneal Placement of Radiotelemetry Transmitters for Long-term Recording of Electroencephalography
H. Lundbeck has been one of the pioneers in the use of implantable radiotelemetry devices for the collection of electroencephalographic (EEG) and electromyographic (EMG) data in rats. This technology is useful both for sleep research (Vogel et al., 2002: J. Neurosci. Methods 118, 89-96) and epilepsy research (Bastlund et al., 2004 J. Neurosci. Methods 138, 65-72). As part of an ongoing process to improve the ethical and technical aspects of our animal models with focus on the 3R’s, we are engaged in continuous dialogue with our in-house veterinary staff, the equipment manufacturers and other research groups using the telemetry technology. At Lundbeck, we had formerly been implanting the transmitter devices in the intraperitoneal (IP) cavity, however, we were experiencing a number of difficulties with this method. For example, this procedure requires multiple incisions as well as turning the rat over during surgery, compromising the aseptic conditions and thereby increasing the risk of infection. Past experience with subcutaneous (SC) implantation revealed that this technique may also lead to infection, seromas and in some cases penetration of the leads and/or the transmitter body through the skin. However we have further developed our surgical procedure for the SC implantation, optimising and focusing on aseptic surgery without compromising the quality of the data.