Kristen Sparrow • July 26, 2021
This is a bachelor’s degree project of a young scientist in Barcelona. They study the value of TAVNS, transcutaneous auricular vagal nerve stimulation on memory retention in mice. I have been using TAVNS on certain patients in addition to acupuncture and monitoring their Heart Rate Variability.
Some of my patients have electrodes that I made for them to use at home that are “custom”. The mouse electrodes are also custom and were then 3D printed to allow the electrodes to insert very precisely in an area of the concha and cymba concha. They are held in place with a magnet.
They do many various ingenious work arounds using a modified Elizabethan collar (similar to the cones that dogs get after an injury of surgery) and lever that supports and suspends the wires going to the mouse with a counter weight.
The experiment was a success with the mouse receiving TAVNS showing improved memory retrieval.
atVNS using the S-pod after the familiarization phase resulted in increased memory retention
(DI=0:025) compared to no stimulation condition (DI=0:03). Namely, mice that
received atVNS spent more time exploring the novel object than the familiar one. This
is translated in larger DI values in Figure 9 based on the innate preference of mice to
explore novel objects rather than already-known/familiar ones .