A micro-advancer device for vitreal injection and retinal recording and stimulation

Abstract A micro-advancer device that positions a narrow-gauge needle within the vitreous humor of the rat eye is described. The device is compact, simple and inexpensive to manufacture. It consists of an outer guard needle and an inner injection needle that is advanced through the guard needle. With the rat held in a stereotaxic holder and the globe fixed to a stabilizing ring, the outer 25-gauge guard needle is advanced through the sclera using a standard micromanipulator. The inner 31-gauge injection needle is then advanced through the guard needle with a manually controlled leadscrew and carriage mechanism. The inner injection needle is attached to a Hamilton syringe and can be positioned to within microns of the retinal surface under visual observation through a microscope. The injection needle is fixed to the device by a quick-release clamp on the carriage and can be rapidly exchanged while the guard needle remains in place in the vitreous. This permits different solutions to be injected sequentially into the vitreous humor. Recording electrodes, stimulating electrodes, and optical fibers can also be advanced through the guard needle and positioned accurately near the retinal surface or within the retina.