Small animal restraining system for brain imaging


Published: 11Oct2019

Invention 16075

Small animal restraining system for brain imaging


A small animal restraining system for brain imaging that does not require anesthesia has been designed at McGill University.


Market Need

For imaging techniques, such as MRI, small animals are traditionally scanned under anesthesia to stop the animal from moving. Otherwise, if the animal moves too much then the image becomes unusable. As use of anesthesia is well known to alter brain function, findings from animal brain research are treated with more skepticism than other animal disease models. While there are a variety of animal restraining systems that exist already, many of them are either magnetic, require some sort of pain management, or simply do not fit within the space available in the animal MRI.


Technology Summary

This technology is a restraining system for small animals, allowing high resolution imaging by MRI on awake animals, compatible with various instruments on the market. The restraining mechanism is composed of a lever system in which two moveable, opposing plates restrain the animal’s head. Together with a bite bar and a lockable nose press, these components hold the animal in a specific location and stops the animal’s head movements. The basic design can also be expanded to restrain other parts of the body and be employed with other imaging modalities or applied to benchtop applications.



  • High resolution imaging by MRI of small animals without anesthesia
  • Non-magnetic restraining system with no pain management or invasiveness


Patent Status

Filed US


Contact Information

Philippe Dupuishamel
Innovation and Partnerships
philippe.dupuishamel [at]
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