Rodent Stroke Surgery Core

The CATSS Rodent Stroke Surgery Core provides investigators a means by which to test therapeutics in a rodent model of stroke.


This fee-for-service option is available to investigators both at the University of Kentucky and at other institutions or companies that are new to the stroke field or interested in testing their treatment strategies in a model outside of their field of study. This provides an opportunity to discover much needed therapies for stroke as well as establish new collaborations.


The available services can be performed in adult mice or rats. The fee structure is based on the requested experimental design, number of animals and personnel time. We will work with you to custom design your study and perform analysis of the data. Upon completion of the study, a final report and all raw data will be provided to you.

Rodent Surgery Core Director

Scientist I

Sarah Messmer, MPH


  • Model 1: Transient MCAO (mouse or rat)

    An intraluminal filament middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion (60-90 minutes) that produces a cortical and striatal infarct.

  • Model 2: Permanent MCAO (mouse or rat)

    An intraluminal filament middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion that produces a cortical and striatal infarct.

  • Model 3: Transient Tandem CCA/MCAo (mouse only)

    A tandem common carotid artery (CCA) / distal MCA occlusion (60 minutes) that produces a cortical infarct.

  • Laser Speckle Imaging (PeriCam PSI HR; Perimed)

    Provides real-time measurements and video recordings of cortical cerebral blood flow.

  • Intra-arterial Injection

    For compound administration through the external carotid artery (ECA) / internal carotid artery (ICA) at time of reperfusion (combined with stroke model). This mimics administration of drugs to the site of ischemia during a thrombectomy procedure in humans.

  • Injections

    Intravenous (tail vein), intraperitoneal, subcutaneous.

  • Blood Collection

    Serial or terminal

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI)

    Performed in the UK Magnetic Resonance Imaging & Spectroscopy Core (MRISC). T2 and DTI scans available for infarct volume and edema measurements. Other scans available upon request depending on experimental design.

  • Functional Testing

    Performed in the UK Rodent Behavior Core. Various motor/sensory and memory tests available.

  • Tissue Collection & Immunohistochemistry

    TTC or cresyl violet staining for the measurement of infarct volumes.