10 years of CRACK IT webinar: TaiNi by design – advancing the 3Rs in EEG recording in rodents

External Event - 25th Feb 2021

14:00 to 15:00NC3Rs logo

Hosted by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) 


This webinar forms part of the CRACK IT 10 year anniversary celebrations and will showcase the TaiNi wireless electroencephalography (EEG) recording device developed to address the 2011 Cognition CRACK IT Challenge.  

The small and ultralightweight system replaces the use of heavy tethered devices, allowing mice to be socially housed, move more freely and exhibit natural behaviors more easily. This has animal welfare benefits as well as providing the potential to conduct for the first-time electrophysiology on socially interacting animals.  

During the webinar you will hear from: 

  • Professor Esther Rodriguez Villegas (Imperial College London and co-founder of TainiTec) who led the development of the TaiNi product. Esther will describe the technology development process and the role that CRACK IT played in delivering this through its supportive structure and unique approach to collaboration. 

  • Dr Alfredo Gonzalez-Sulser (University of Edinburgh) has adopted the TaiNi device as part of his research to develop new therapeutic strategies to treat epilepsy. During Alfredo’s presentation he will describe what motivated him to adopt the TaiNi device and share data on the novel findings and research paradigms this has allowed him to explore. He will also describe the wider scientific and 3Rs benefits of this compared to traditional commercially available tethered systems and existing wireless devices. 

There will be an opportunity to ask questions after the webinar presentation. The webinar is free to attend. 


The Cognition CRACK IT Challenge, sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Lilly and launched in 2011, aimed to develop a wireless neuronal recording system that could acquire and transmit data for a minimum of 24 hours and was small enough to be carried by a mouse without affecting its welfare. The objective was to develop a technology to replace the use of tethered recording devices and wireless systems available at the time which were heavy and restricted the mouse’s movement.  

Esther and her team of engineers worked with Lilly scientists to develop and test the TaiNi device which weighs just 1.5g (including the battery), is capable of 72 hours recording from 16 channels and capturing local field and action potentials from mice performing a range of tasks. 

Further information about the TaiNi device and Cognition Challenge can be found on the NC3Rs Innovation Platform



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