PinPoint™ Set Up

PinPoint™ is a Precision Cortical Impactor™ used in basic medical research to replicate traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries in an animal model. The system is designed to provide the user with precision control, power, and flexibility to generate accurate, reliable, and reproducible results.

System Features

  • Microprocessor Controlled
  • Software Interface
  • Velocity (0-3m/s)
  • Depth (0-5mm)
  • Dwell Time (input in milliseconds)
  • Seven Available Tip Sizes
  • Integrated Contact Sensor
  • 360˚ Range of Motion
  • Multiple System Configurations

PinPoint™ Attached to Standard Manipulator Arm on a Stereotaxic Frame
System Components

The components are the driving force behind PinPoint’s power and versatility. Particularly important are the drive motor, impact tips, control unit, and articulated support arm.

Drive Motor and Impact Tips

Drive Motor

The drive motor is a linear unit consisting of an interconnected motor and ram. During impact, the motor is stationary, while the ram mobilizes. This allows the motor to be of significant strength and durability to propel the ram with more force and power.


Impact Tips

The tips act as the point of contact during impact. They are manufactured as round or rectangular for TBI or SCI studies. In addition, the tips are available in seven sizes ranging from 1 to 5mm. Custom tips are available upon request.

Control Unit

The control unit is the interface between the software and drive motor, relaying communications and supplying electrical power.

Control Unit

Articulated Support Arm (ASA)

The articulated support arm is a manipulator arm for the drive motor, providing a 360˚ range of motion. The arm is available in two sizes, medium and large. While both arms increase the units mobility, the large ASA is suitable for studies involving larger animals. For more information on the ASA, please see Configurations.

Medium Articulated Support Arm
Software Interface

PinPoint™ is operated by a GUI (Graphical User Interface) software package installed on any standard PC or laptop. It is a point-and-click application that allows the user to:

  • Adjust velocity, depth, and dwell time
  • Control vertical movements of the ram
  • Initiate impact
  • Record important notes
  • View, save, and export results
Front View of PinPoint™ Interfaced with Stereotaxic Frame
Impact Procedure

Inducing an impact is a simple procedure. After conducting surgery to expose either the brain or spinal cord:

  • Position the linear motor
  • Lower the ram until the tip contacts
  • Retract the ram to starting position
  • Initialize impact

Different system configurations offer alternative methods for positioning the motor; however, adjusting and triggering the ram is always operated through the software. In addition, the contact sensor will notify the user when contact is made via audible and/or visual indicators located on the control unit.

System Configurations

There are three system configurations for PinPoint™, all of which are designed to interface with a stereotaxic frame. Hatteras Instruments acts as a supplier for stereotaxic frames and can provide one with a PinPoint™ purchase.

The primary differences among the configurations are the range of motion in the drive motor and the flexibility of the system.

PinPoint™ Configuration 1

Configuration 1

Drive motor attaches to a standard manipulator arm on a stereotaxic frame.

PinPoint™ Configuration 2

Configuration 2

Drive motor attaches to a medium articulated support arm mounted to the side of a stereotaxic frame.

PinPoint™ Configuration 3

Configuration 3

Drive motor attaches to a large articulated support arm mounted to a base plate.

In this configuration, the base plate fashions a work space for the stereotaxic frame. It is also suitable for larger animals.

PinPoint™ Configuration 3 Overhead View

For more detailed explanations of the configurations, please review our PinPoint™ Configurations PDF or Contact Us with any questions.