Implantable Cannula Connector Systems

Optogenetics is an emerging field combining optical and genetic techniques to probe neural circuits within intact animals at the high speed (millisecond-timescale) needed to understand brain information processing. Existing screw-type connectors can be difficult to connect and do not allow for freedom of rotation. The open cannulas currently in use also allow fluid to flow out of the brain and are prone to bacterial contamination.

This implantable cannula connector system solves these problems and is so easy to use that it often alleviates the need to anesthetize the animal, enabling high-throughput behavioral, physiological, and/or pharmacological testing.

Invention Summary

Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine have developed a novel connector for optogenetics applications to connect implantable optical fibers. A unique design allows the connectors to be quickly connected and disconnected while maintaining a secure connection during use. The connectors also allow for freedom of rotation and are ideal for chronic implantation. Optional features provide a barrier to fluid flow and infection while allowing the passage of light into the brain. In addition to optical applications, the connectors have a number of advantages over the screw-type connectors used in drug-delivery cannula systems.


  • Small size and weight
  • Quick and easy to connect
  • Allows precise placement of optical fibers
  • Can be used to secure a fluid delivery system
  • Have been extensively tested in awake behaving rats

Application Fields

  • In optogenetics, applications to connect implantable optical fibers
  • In behavioral, physiological, and/or pharmacological testing


  • David Klorig


U.S. Patent Application No. 13/185,933

Licensing Contact

Dean Stell
Associate Director, Industry Relations & Business Development

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