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Analysis and comparison of a spinal cord injury model with a single-axle-lever clip or a parallel-moving clip compression in rats


Study design

Experimental animal study.


To assess the feasibility of a custom-designed parallel-moving (PM) clip, compared with a single-axle-lever (SAL) clip, for the development of a compressional spinal cord injury (SCI) model in rats.


Hospital laboratory in China.


We used a PM clip and a SAL clip with same compression rate, to develop a SCI model in rats, and set a sham group as a blank control. Within 3 weeks, each group of rats was evaluated for behavioral (Basso–Beattie–Bresnahan locomotor rating score, BBB), and electrophysiological changes (somatosensory evoked potential), and historical staining to observe the differences between the three groups. In particular, the mechanical results of the PM group were calculated.


The BBB scores for the SAL and PM groups were significantly lower than those for the sham group (P < 0.05), no significant difference between the two methods (P > 0.05), but the values corresponding to the PM group had smaller standard deviations. The interpeak-latency (IPL) was significantly prolonged (P < 0.0001) and the peak-peak amplitude (PPA) was significantly reduced (P < 0.01) in SAL and PM groups than those in the sham group, but there was no statistical difference in both IPL and PPA between the two SCI groups (P > 0.05). Histological staining showed obvious pathological changes in two SCI groups, and the shape of the lesion zone in the PM group was more symmetrical than that in the SAL groups.


The use of a compressional SCI model in rats with the PM clip we designed is an appropriate method to quantify the injury. The degree of the injury caused by this clip is more stable and uniform than those with classical methods.

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Fig. 1: Spinal cord clipping device.
Fig. 2: Spinal cord clipping surgery was performed to establish SCI model with clip compression in rat.
Fig. 3: Graphs of behavioral and electrophysiological data over time.


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The authors thank AiMi Academic Services ( for the English language editing and review services.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81830077).

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Authors and Affiliations



XHW was responsible for designing the protocol, writing the protocol, design the device for surgery, participate in experimental operation, evaluating and writing the article; CJ was responsible for improving the experimental ideas and writing the protocol, participate in experimental operation in each tests, result collection and result analysis; YYZ and ZC guiding the modeling surgery, screening potentially eligible studies; ZYW assisted in the operation, recording partial postoperative indicators; HY help us solving some technical problems encountered; DJH providing financial support.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ding-jun Hao.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical approval

We certify that all experimental procedures were performed in accordance with the Guide of Laboratory Animal Care and Use from the United States National Institution of Health and were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of Xi’an Jiaotong University, SN, China.

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Wang, Xh., Jiang, C., Zhang, Yy. et al. Analysis and comparison of a spinal cord injury model with a single-axle-lever clip or a parallel-moving clip compression in rats. Spinal Cord 60, 332–338 (2022).

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