Vessel microport technique for applications in cerebrovascular research

J Neurosci Res. 2009 May 15;87(7):1718-27. doi: 10.1002/jnr.21973.


Cerebrovascular research suffers from a lack of reliable methods with which to deliver exogenous substances effectively into the central nervous system (CNS) of small experimental animals. Here we describe a novel vessel microport surgical technique for a variety of cerebrovascular applications that is reproducible and well tolerated in mice. The procedure is based on the insertion of a vessel microport into the external carotid artery for substance delivery into the CNS via the internal carotid artery. The method results in selective substance delivery into the ipsilateral hemisphere. Other novel aspects of this surgical technique include the ability to perform multiple injections, study of conscious mice well removed from surgery, and lack of occlusion of the common or internal carotid artery that allows carotid flow to be maintained. The feasibility of this technique has been validated by infusion of HIV Tat protein to induce permeability of the blood-brain barrier and by implantation of tumor cells to establish a brain metastasis model. Thus, the described vessel microport technique can be employed in a variety of cerebrovascular research applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiopathology
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / surgery*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microvessels / pathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Soot
  • tat Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus / administration & dosage


  • Soot
  • tat Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus