AFSBio Inc. has partnered with Actual Analytics - from the University of Edinburgh - to provide you with a true home-cage monitoring system for mice and rats
24/7 recording and analysis
Whether you are observing the effects of drugs or the progress of neurodegenerative conditions, accurate information is difficult to obtain and verify if you rely on physical observation. Our data is recorded round the clock so you can be sure every behaviour is being captured. You can also retrospectively look at your video feed to watch those behaviours happening and reanalyse using the new algorithms, providing the capacity for further analysis without any need to repeat the experiment.
Removing rodents from a comfortable environment to an unfamiliar environment has adverse effects, not only from a welfare perspective but also when it comes to data quality. Rats and mice are social creatures: being housed alone or removed from their social environment causes restlessness and anxiety. These signs of distress are easily confused with signs of neurobehavioral, CNS, or drug- or disease-related symptoms, and vice versa. Without the issue of social isolation or discomfort in a new environment, a far more accurate baseline of “normal” behaviour can be established.
In the real home cage
This isn’t just a cage you can home your rodents in, it really is the home cage. Our system is designed. Rodents in research labs live in small social groups in highly optimised plastic home cages where they thrive and grow. Inside their home cages the animals eat, drink, sleep, interact and behave; yet this data is largely ignored due to technical challenges. Monitoring rodents consistently for weeks or even months allows for the early detection of phenotypes and neurodegenerative stressors as well as more effective longitudinal studies, facilitating the refinement of disease models.
The Actual Home Cage Analysis system represents the newest and most exciting technology available in rodent behavioural research. In the past, measuring locomotor activity in rodents meant they had to be housed singly in bespoke arenas. The depth of analysis was limited to the designated hours of observation, meaning researchers obtained nothing more than a limited snapshot of the rodents’ activity and behaviour.
With ActualHCA, it is possible to gather data on a 24/7 basis in the least invasive way possible, while the rodents remain in the same home cage. The system provides automated analysis of the complex behaviours displayed by rodents while allowing for identity to be retained.
FITS RIGHT INTO YOUR EXISTING RACK SYSTEM
In 2011 the NC3Rs CRACK-IT challenge was devised by Dr Will Redfern, Associate Director of the Cardiovascular and CNS Translational Centre of Expertise at AstraZeneca. Through the CRACK-IT Challenges (in partnership with AstraZeneca, MRC Harwell, University of Strathclyde, University of Edinburgh, and The NC3Rs), we developed an innovative home cage analysis system that provides 24/7 monitoring of rodent behaviours in a group-housed environment that is beneficial from both data and welfare perspectives.