Study objectives: Traditionally, sleep studies in mammals are performed using electroencephalogram/electromyogram (EEG/EMG) recordings to determine sleep-wake state. In laboratory animals, this requires surgery and recovery time and causes discomfort to the animal. In this study, we evaluated the performance of an alternative, noninvasive approach utilizing piezoelectric films to determine sleep and wakefulness in mice by simultaneous EEG/EMG recordings. The piezoelectric films detect the animal's movements with high sensitivity and the regularity of the piezo output signal, related to the regular breathing movements characteristic of sleep, serves to automatically determine sleep. Although the system is commercially available (Signal Solutions LLC, Lexington, KY), this is the first statistical validation of various aspects of sleep.
Design: EEG/EMG and piezo signals were recorded simultaneously during 48 h.
Setting: Mouse sleep laboratory.
Participants: Nine male and nine female CFW outbred mice.
Interventions: EEG/EMG surgery.
Measurements and results: The results showed a high correspondence between EEG/EMG-determined and piezo-determined total sleep time and the distribution of sleep over a 48-h baseline recording with 18 mice. Moreover, the piezo system was capable of assessing sleep quality (i.e., sleep consolidation) and interesting observations at transitions to and from rapid eye movement sleep were made that could be exploited in the future to also distinguish the two sleep states.
Conclusions: The piezo system proved to be a reliable alternative to electroencephalogram/electromyogram recording in the mouse and will be useful for first-pass, large-scale sleep screens for genetic or pharmacological studies.
Citation: Mang GM, Nicod J, Emmenegger Y, Donohue KD, O'Hara BF, Franken P. Evaluation of a piezoelectric system as an alternative to electroencephalogram/electromyogram recordings in mouse sleep studies.
Keywords: EEG/EMG; automated; noninvasive; outbred mice; piezoelectric system; sleep.