What Is The Home Cage Analyser?
In the past, measuring most behaviours in rodents meant housing animals singly, in bespoke arenas. Analysis was limited to the designated hours of observation, meaning researchers obtained little more than artificial snapshots with activity and behaviour in social groups going entirely unobserved.
The Home Cage Analyser gathers data 24/7 in the least invasive way possible. The technology is a modular, scaleable and universal solution which can be installed in all animal facilities.
Digitise Your Vivarium
ActualHCA provides automated analysis of discrete behaviours, body temperature and locomotor activity, tagged to each individual animal within their normal social group. Isolation of individual animals is no longer needed to collect rich behavioural data.
Monitoring rodents in this non-invasive manner, produces highly reproducible and robust data for a wide range of scientific applications.
Home Cage Analyser Features
Socially Grouped Animals
RFID microchips allow the system to record and analyse individual rodent behaviour whilst retaining their social groups. This provides you with analysis of discrete behaviours, temperature and locomotor activity tagged to each individual animal within their social group. In fact the social interactions within the groups are measured, these are powerful digital biomarkers that would otherwise be lost.
Data is recorded around the clock with no time limits. Infrared lighting provides HD quality video day and night.
The System does not use a bespoke cage/arena, it really is their home cage. The HCA system is available in desktop or rack-mounted where it fits into most standard IVC racks regardless of the type of caging you currently have. There is no need to modify existing caging.
The system is highly deployable and scalable. Multiple units can be installed per rack to meet the specifications of your experiments.
Multiple Data Levels
The system collects data for each individual animal on various levels, locomotor, temperature and behavioural. This includes discrete behaviours such as drinking, eating and climbing, as well as circadian rhythm and locomotor data.
The quantity of longitudinal data gathered provides additional statistical power, meaning fewer animals are required. The behavioural data collected is entirely non-invasive and based on identifying individual behaviour in the home cage and does not require social isolation of the animals. Remote observation capabilities facilitate enhanced welfare monitoring. Live data analytics can flag potential welfare issues in real time. Find out more here.
Live Alert System
Data analysis occurs during the study. Data events from live analysis can be used to drive welfare alerts. Alerts indicate if an animal starts behaviour abnormally, and perhaps needs attention from staff.
The system allows you to remotely observe your animals throughout the experiment via a live video feed. Not only does this save you time and resources, it enhances your welfare monitoring. The HD IR video allows you to zoom into specific behaviours, with ive analytics flagging potential welfare issues in real time.
Testing within the home cage is suitable for a number of interest areas, including but not limited to:
Detecting and assessing safety/toxicological effects of candidate drugs.
Behavioural phenotyping of genetically altered animals.
Longitudinal analysis of animal cohorts across many months.
Drug efficacy studies.
Studies of circadian rhythms.
Studies of social interactions.
How Does It Work?
How long will the system run for?As long as is needed. Our systems capture data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ensuring you never miss key events
Is the system different for mice and rats?Yes. Mice and rats obviously differ in size, as do their cages, so our systems are calibrated accordingly. Different baseplates are required for each species and in the case of mice smaller RFID chips may be used (subject to system setup) however only the Biomark Biotherm 13 will provide temperature data.
What, if any, are the size restrictions for the rodents? Is there a suggested body weight range to ensure proper tracking?"We have not come across any animals that are too large or small yet. Very young pups may be too small for the RFID tags.
Are there specific brands or types of IVC units it is designed for?Yes, we have working systems using Tecniplast Blue Line and Green Line and Allentown Type 2 cages. Others are available upon request.