System to Measure Rodent Vestibular Sensory Evoked Potentials

Project Collaborators (sorted by Institute): 
Mouse Auditory Testing Core Facility, NIDCD
Project Brief: 

The Mouse Auditory Testing Core within NIDCD provides investigators with assistance in testing auditory function in rodents. In addition to the standard auditory testing (such as auditory brainstem response), NIDCD is expanding core capabilities to include the often needed testing of vestibular sensory evoked potentials (VsEPs). VsEPs are used to assess the vestibular system, which is a critical component associated with a sense of balance. The VsEPs are induced by forcing a rapid motion of the rodent head, and the electrophysiological response is measured through the use of electrodes placed under the skin. No commercial system or solution is available, therefore SPIS has assisted NIDCD in duplicating a standard VsEPs testing platform developed by an outside researcher who pioneered the technique. While originally focused on establishing the basic VsEP testing capability, SPIS staff have taken initiative in debugging and improving the system design. Improvements include adjustments to the mechanical setup to significantly reduce motion noise artifacts, modifications to the rodent head mount to improve fit and translation of the desired movement, and modifications aimed at enhancing the VsEP signals.

Publications resulting from use of this system include:

  • Fernandez, K., Wafa, T., Fitzgerald, T. S., & Cunningham, L. L. (2019). An optimized, clinically relevant mouse model of cisplatin-induced ototoxicity. Hearing Research, 375, 66–74. doi:10.1016/j.heares.2019.02.006 PMCID: PMC6416072
  • Tona, R., Chen, W., Nakano, Y., Reyes, L. D., Petralia, R. S., Wang, Y.-X., Starost, M. F., Wafa, T. T., Morell, R. J., Cravedi, K. D., du Hoffmann, J., Miyoshi, T., Munasinghe, J. P., Fitzgerald, T. S., Chudasama, Y., Omori, K., Pierpaoli, C., Banfi, B., Dong, L., Belyantseva, I. A., & Friedman, T. B. (2019). The phenotypic landscape of a Tbc1d24 mutant mouse includes convulsive seizures resembling human early infantile epileptic encephalopathy. Human Molecular Genetics. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddy445 PMID: 30602030
3D model of custom shaker mount and head clip

3D model of the custom mouse head clip and mounting hardware for the VsEPs system. The aluminum bracket mounts directly to the shaker, and secures the accelerometer and head clip. The head clip is printed using UV cured acrylic. A set screw allows the researcher to adjust the head holding pressure for an optimal fit and function.