Animal Activity Monitoring
Photocell (IR) beam activity meters for mice and rats featuring turn-key solutions to these common tests:
Columbus Instruments first commercialized infrared photo-cell based lab animal activity monitoring over thirty years ago with our product: Opto-Varimex. Our current generation of the product reflects refinement and advancement to this time-proven method of monitoring animal behavior.
The Auto-Track software records IR beam breaks as it corresponds to movement and traces the path of movement of each subject. The arena can be divided into user-defined zones where the software records number of entries and time.
The Opto-M4 is our economical general purpose activity meter that records the number of beam breaks as a result of locomotor movement. It can be adapted to our Open Field cage as a basic monitor for exploratory behavior.
The for cost savings the interface and software only records beam break data and does not trace the animal's path or support zone mapping.
The system can optionally be reconfigured (using different brackets) into more stations measuring in fewer axes presenting a remarkably flexible design.
The Opto-M4 is our economical general purpose activity meter that records the number of beam breaks as a result of movement. Ambulatory beam breaks are distinguished from stereotypic beam breaks and these counts are reported in user defined intervals.
In home cage setups, the Opto M3 exists in a variety of forms. We offer various sensor lengths and IR beam spacing to fit almost any cage. Additionally, these systems can be arranged to measure 3 axes in a few cages, or fewer axes in more cages. Any combination of X, Y, & Z are supported.
The Opto-Varimex-5 with Hole Poke is a special test used for measuring exploration behavior. The animal is elevated above the bottom of the cage by a board with evenly spaced holes. One set of horizontal sensors form a grid of photo beams just beneath the hole board and as the subject dips its head in, an XY coordinate is marked and a hole poke is recorded.
A second set of horizontal sensors can be placed above the hole-board to track animal position. Both planes are measured simultaneously.
The Opto-M4 activity meter can be equipped with special software for circadian rhythm research. Sleeping bouts are represented as extended periods of complete inactivity including lack of stereotypic bursts.
This software also reports beam breaks as result of ambulatory or stereotypic movement, but with an added focus on detecting sleeping events. Data is reported for number of sleeping bouts and the duration of each bout.
This software is compatible with most Opto-M4 systems presently in the field. Contact us for upgrade options.
The Light / Dark box is used to asses anxiety related behavior. The percentage of time spent on the light side is used as an index of anxiety. Also the number of transfers between light and dark sides can indicate possible impairment of motor-exploratory activity.
Traditional tests are performed by manual observation because of the opaque material required to make the dark side "dark." We use a special plastic that filters out all visible light while allowing infrared light to pass through. This permits our activity meter to track animal location even in the dark side.
The Columbus Instruments’ Passive/Active Avoidance System model PACS-30 provides an automated approach to avoidance conditioning for up to 30 rats or mice. The avoidance enclosure is divided into two compartments. Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) in the form of electric shock and Conditioned Stimulus (CS) in the form of cue lights and sound are provided on each side of the avoidance box. The central dividing wall provides either an open doorway (for active testing) or a guillotine style automated doorway (for passive testing) between the compartments. An array of IR photocells detects animal presence and inter-compartment transfer.
The Columbus Instruments’ Contextual Place Preference Box is designed as a low cost "barebones" solution to CPP testing. The System comes complete with IR activity sensors, interface, software, and a basic box. The box is made of acrylic plastic and has a solid black side and a solid white side. Start boxes are located on either side to allow randomization and prevention of habitual right or left turns upon entry. A dividing wall is also included for training.
The box lends itself to simple modification by the end user by adding their home-made patters or floor textures.
The Columbus Instruments’ Home Cage Running Wheel fits universally into most common laboratory cages. This low cost simple system records wheel revolutions per user-defined interval. This voluntary exercise can indicate night time activity levels and bouts of spontaneous exercise.
The system comes complete with wheel, sensor, interface and software.
The Exer 3/6 Treadmill is the most popular exercise treadmill in the world for mice and rats. Currently in its third generation, the Exer 3/6 is perfect for regimented routine exercise, assessing individual maximum running capacity, and its low-end speed is suitable for rehabilitation research on injured animals.
All treadmills come with software and speed calibration wheel. Electric stimulus is offered in basic form or equipped with automated detection system to limit stimulus exposure for each subject.