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Prog Brain Res. 2011;194:97-103. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53815-4.00014-5.

Development of neuromodulation treatments in a large animal model--do neurosurgeons dream of electric pigs?

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Center for Experimental Neuroscience (CENSE), Department of Neurosurgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Århus C, Denmark.


The Göttingen minipig has been established as a translational research animal for neurological and neurosurgical disorders. This animal has a large gyrencephalic brain suited for examination at sufficient resolution with conventional clinical scanning modalities. The large brain, further, allows use of standard neurosurgical techniques and can accommodate clinical neuromodulatory devises such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes and encapsulated cell biodelivery devices making the animal ideal for basic scientific studies on neuromodulation mechanisms and preclinical tests of new neuromodulation technology for human use. The use of the Göttingen minipig is economical and does not have the concerns of the public associated with the experimental use of primates, cats, and dogs, thus providing a cost-effective research model for translation of rodent data before clinical trials are initiated.

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