When using ALZET osmotic pumps for various targeted delivery applications, special catheter tubing and/or other surgical materials may be needed. A list of additional accessories and potential vendors is listed below for your convenience.
When performing intravenous, intra-arterial, or other targeted delivery studies with ALZET Osmotic Pumps, you may need catheter tubing of various requirements. The appropriate sizes of polyethylene and vinyl tubing that fit the ALZET Osmotic Pump flow moderator are listed below. Other types of catheter tubing can also be used.
Medical grade polyethylene tubing is available in many sizes from most laboratory supply houses. Two sizes are commonly used with ALZET pumps: PE-50 and PE-60. However, the larger size (PE-60) is generally preferred. DURECT Corporation sells ETO sterilized catheter tubing (PE-60), pre-cut to 15 cm lengths, and individually packaged.
Medical grade vinyl tubing has superior flexibility and attachment properties (compared to PE tubing), hence it may be better suited for some ICV applications. DURECT Corporation sells ETO sterilized catheter tubing (vinyl), pre-cut to 15 cm lengths, and individually packaged.
Intra-arterial / Intravenous Applications
For intra-arterial or intravenous applications in small vessels, refer to our line of specialized catheters. These catheters are customized for delivery to small vessels and attachment to the ALZET pump. Alternatively, PE-60 tubing can be drawn out over a heat source to a very small size. Furthermore, very fine polyethylene tubing can be glued inside PE-60. One example of such fine tubing is Intramedic® tubing, available from Scientific Commodities or Fisher Scientific.
Handbook of Pre-clinical Continuous Intravenous Infusion
Edited by Guy Healing and David Smith, Taylor & Francis, 2000.
This book provides an excellent overview of surgical procedures, equipment, and practical tips for conducting intravenous infusion studies in various laboratory animal species. Researchers across multiple scientific disciplines will find that this handbook contains the information and guidance necessary to conduct more efficient and accurate studies. An entire chapter from this book (Chapter 21) is dedicated to “The use of ALZET mini-pumps in continuous infusion studies”. This chapter offers an excellent overview on the use of ALZET mini-pumps in pre-clinical pharmacology and toxicology studies. It also offers detailed surgical procedures and tips for jugular vessel cannulation in rodents. This book is available from Amazon.com.
Brain Infusion Studies
For brain infusion studies in rats or mice, DURECT offers the ALZET Brain Infusion Kit. This kit contains infusion cannulae and vinyl catheter tubing for ten brain infusion studies. Additional materials useful in brain infusion studies are available from the following vendors:
Holes in the skull can be drilled with a 1-3/4 ” length, 0.0465″ cutting diameter, precision steel, high speed steel bit (part number: B0025QE8A0) and a small 0.030″-0.062″ pin vice (part number: B001LF1156).
Small stainless steel machine screws can be used to stabilize the dental cement platform (size #0-80, 1/8″ in length with a fillister head – part number B000FN29YM).
Dental cement can be used to keep the brain infusion cannula in place. Dental cement is available through the following vendors:
Cyanoacrylate Adhesive (Loctite 454)
Cyanoacrylate gel is an adhesion compound which can be used in lieu of dental cement to keep the brain infusion cannula in place. It is particularly useful for mouse applications. Loctite Prism¨ 454 is one example of a cyanoacrylate gel that can be used for securing the brain cannulae to the skull of laboratory animals. This product can be purchased directly from:
Now available from DURECT Corporation – These stainless steel devices facilitate stereotaxic placement of brain infusion cannula to the skull. They are specifically designed to fit the removable cannula tab, and they are compatible with most of the common stereotaxic frames in the market.
Stereotaxic Atlases and Related References
A compilation of references to stereotaxic atlases and related materials is available through the Stoelting web site. Stereotaxic Atlases can also be purchased from Braintree Scientific, Inc. These listings provide investigators reference to a variety of stereotaxic atlases, and other ancillary techniques and methods related to stereotaxic surgery in various animal species.
For infusions into the brain (either via the cerebral ventricles or into solid tissue), the preferred vehicle is artificial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). A recipe for preparing artificial CSF is available (click here). Commercial source of Artificial CSF Perfusion Fluid available from Harvard Apparatus.
ALZET pumps are supplied with a specified volume release rate that has been determined in isotonic saline at 37C (+/- 0.5C). In the event that the user finds it necessary to test the pumping rate, DURECT has developed an in vitro testing protocol. This protocol requires the use of an indicator solution. One such indicator is FD&C #1 blue dye (catalog #5601), available from:
Sensient Color Group
2515 N. Jefferson Ave.,
St. Louis, MO 63106
(800) 325-8110 x5001
Bacterial filters that attach to the filling syringe may be used to prevent particulate contamination during loading of test solutions. Suitable filters (i.e., Millex®-GV – 0.22 µM syringe-end filter) are available from Millipore Corporation