Translational and basic research are the major areas of TMS applications in animals. The use of animals has advantages in terms of subject homogeneity, disease models and available histology.
Focuses such as TMS safety, neuronal connectivity, synaptic plasticity and cortical organization all have strong translational relevance. Rats, mice, dogs, cats, rabbits and horses are the most commonly used animals for research with TMS. Stimulating small animals with TMS, sometimes even in conjunction with EEG, is challenging because of the animal’s size. This requires specific equipment, such as small dedicated TMS-coils with very focused magnetic fields.
Major considerations and solutions:
Size of the animals:
Decentral mini-coils enable a very focal stimulation in rodents.
Large range of stimulation coils – different sizes and housings.
Application-oriented coil geometries for specific animals.
No standardized experimental setup:
Customization of the setup – from cable length to coil mountings.
Free control of the stimulator.
Different stimulation parameters (pulse direction, pulse shape, protocols).
Simultaneous use with other equipment:
Avoiding electrical disturbances and induction with special shielding.
Integrated safety concepts for safe operation in various combinations.
High frequency multimodal-TMS enabled with advanced recharging technology.
Precise coil positioning:
Integration into MR-based neuronavigation systems.