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Method of rat immobilization during experimental acupuncture

Nikolay Dimitrov, Dimitar Sivrev, Dimitrinka Atanasova


There is consistency in the location of biologically active points (BAP) in humans and animals, so it is assumed that the morphological changes after acupuncture in experimental animals are identical to changes in humans. Most often the experiments are made on rats, using various methods of fixing to ensure immobility during the impact in biologically active points. The aim of this study is to develop a method for immobilization of experimental animals, meeting the requirements of our experiments, in order to demonstrate the morphological changes that occur after acupuncture and to define the optimal conditions for its application.

The fixing of the experimental rats can be made with available materials or a special clamp. The used spacers for the experimental rats are basically two types - using a transparent tube and not using a transparent tube. On some animals prior anesthesia is made. After repeated application of a fixative developed by us we reached the following conclusions: 1. The fixing with a transparent tube without the use of anesthesia creates optimal conditions for experiments with needle-pricking of a rat. 2. For immobilization of experimental animals without the use of a tube, prior general anesthetic is required in order to avoid straining of the skeletal muscles and trauma on the psyche of the animal.

Today`s trend is to create minimum traumatic conditions for animal fixation without the use of pre-anesthesia. The study complies with the ESA European Directive on animal welfare and is consistent with the Commission for the Ethical Treatment of humans and animals.


acupuncture; biologically active points (BAP); rat; ST 36; acupuncture needle

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About The Authors

Nikolay Dimitrov
Trakia University of Stara Zagora

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine

Dimitar Sivrev
Department of anatomy, Faculty of medicine, Stara Zagora

Dimitrinka Atanasova
Bulgarian academy of sciences

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