Professor Douglas Armstrong and Dr Sonia Bains were recently invited to speak as part of the CRACK IT 10 year anniversary celebrations. If you missed it, the webinar recording is now available.
Professor Armstrong & Dr Bains showcased the Actual Analytics Home Cage Analyser (HCA) system, which enables continuous monitoring of group-housed rats or mice in their home cage with automated analysis of their behaviour and activity. The HCA was originally developed to address the 2011 Rodent Big Brother CRACK IT Challenge (sponsored by AstraZeneca) and adapted for mice as part of the 2012 Rodent Little Brother Challenge (sponsored by MRC Harwell). Actual Analytics were delighted to be invited to be part of the CRACK IT Challenge celebrations.
Actual HCA System
The HCA system provides unobtrusive, continuous monitoring of group-housed rodents, refining animal use by avoiding the need for single housing and allowing testing in the familiar home cage environment. It can be incorporated into standard vivarium racks and measures the position, activity and temperature of individual animals who have been tagged with subcutaneous RFID chips. These are tracked using a baseplate containing a series of RFID antennae. Behavioural data is obtained using high-grade video recording and infrared LED lighting placed above the cage. The video analysis software has been trained to automatically detect specific behaviours.
The HCA system is widely applicable: it has been used in safety pharmacology studies for assessing the central nervous system toxicity of drugs, in neurological disease research, and in mouse phenotyping programmes. During this webinar, which is free to attend, you will hear from one of the developers of the HCA and an end-user whose work has benefitted from the technology. There will be an opportunity to ask questions after the webinar presentation.