Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



MethodsX 11 (2023) 102433.


Open access.


Rat intravenous self-administration is a widely-used animal model in the study of substance use disorders. Rats are tethered to a drug delivery system usually through a port or button that inter- faces the drug delivery system with a chronic indwelling jugular vein catheter. These buttons can be purchased commercially but are costly, presenting a significant economic barrier for many researchers. Many researchers manufacture buttons in-house from a combination of individual custom made and commercially available components, resulting in large variation in terms of how the animals are handled and the longevity of catheter patency. We have developed a jugular catheter button that uses a split septum port to provide snap-on entry of a blunt cannula allowing for quick and easy attachment of the i.v. tubing. The port is constructed from commercially avail- able split septum ports, surgical mesh and small metal cannula. The system is “needleless ”which decreases the risk of infection and improves safety. The split-septum buttons are easily sterilized in-house adding to the reliability and decreases in the risk of infection. We have used this easily constructed, and inexpensive button for i.v. self-administration experiments in which 80 % of the rats maintained patency for a minimum of 35 days.

  • Inexpensive method to construct a self-administration backport button.
  • Utilizes inexpensive components already found in a research laboratory or commercially avail- able.
  • Can be sterilized in-house without degrading glue or components.

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