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Home Cage Analyzer (ActualHCA)

ActualHCA - ActualHCA (Home Cage Analyzer)

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Home Cage Analyzer

(HCA)
24x7 Data Capture and Analysis of Complex Behaviors of Group Housed Rodents in their Real Home Cage!


Rodent behavior analysis plays a vital role in drug discovery, from the development of disease models through to safety pharmacology. ActualAnalytics has developed an innovative home cage analysis system that provides 24/7 monitoring of rodent behaviors in a group-housed environment that is beneficial from both data and welfare perspectives. This is the next generation of Rodent analysis technology surpassing all other technologies and methods available today.

ActualHCA is an add-on system to rodent home cage systems. It is compatible with a range of rat and mouse homecages and racking systems including IVC systems. The system sites alongside a normal homecage and collects data from the group of animals in the adjacent cage.

Main Features:
  • Monitoring of animals in their normal homecage
  • Compatible with normal social group housed animals
  • Identity is retained
  • Automatic annotation of behaviors and activity
  • 24/7 Recordings
ActualHCA has three core elements to the product:
1. Capture
  • Each system comes with all the hardware and software you need to capture your data
  • It comprises an RFID baseplate, HD infrared camera, mini computer, lighting, and all of the necessary software to capture your data 24/7
  • You can network multiple units together and link them to a central server for processing
  • Each cage can stand alone, be networked in a small local network, or connected to your main network
 
2. Analyze
  • Our system provides very high quality data. Below you can see screen shots of common behaviors.
3. Discover
  • Locomoter - distance moved, speed, thigmotaxis, zone occupancy, inactivity/sleep, circadian rhythms
  • Social Interactions - avoidance behavior, following, clustering/grouping, climbing, rearing
  • Development - drinking, feeding, stretching, grooming, aggression, juvenile play, nest building, tremors/seizures, gaze detection, mating

How it Works:
ActualHCA combines two technical approaches to the problem - Under each cage sites a low-profile 2D array of RFID readers. As the rodents move around their identity and approximate position are recorded. The homecage is also illuminated by an array of infrared lights and the cage video recorded in HD quality. Analytical software then processes the data and automatically extracts key behavioral events. An optional feature can also enable the system to record the temperature of each animal. 

Advantages:
  • Enables continuous 24h monitoring over days and weeks
  • Increases the information content of existing study types
  • Animals are housed in social groups
  • Non-invasive (other than a subcutaneously injected RFID microchip)
  • No modifications to standard housing cages required
  • Modules fit inside standard IVC cage rack, so do not require a dedicated room
  • Can be incorporated into existing study types (without the use of additional animals)
  • Future developments include automated detection of convulsive behaviors
Examples of Potential Use:
1. Preclinical Safety Assessment
  • Can slot into existing study types: safety pharmacology studies and repeat-dose toxicology studies
  • Will detect the previously undetectable: 24h activity, 24h temperature, 24h behavioral analysis, and the occurrence of convulsions outside normal manual monitoring hours
  • Could identify "at risk" individuals to back-up/pre-warn welfare decision making
2. Drug withdrawal phenomena 
  • Different classes of drugs with dependence potential cause different patterns of effects on cessation of treatment. However, these usually include changes in activity, behavior, temperature, and food intake.
3. CNS Drug Discovery
  • Can slot into existing disease models
  • Will detect 24h activity, 24h temperature, 24h behavioral analysis, and the occurrence of convulsions outside normal manual monitoring hours
4. Academic Research: Disease Models
  • Various applications - could identify "at risk" individuals to back-up welfare decision making
5. Academic Research: Circadian Rhythms, Ageing
  • Various applications
6. Academic Research: Phenotyping
  • New CRISPR technology opens up the availability of transgenic rat strains

"This is a technological breathrough. This data collection wasn't possible before now..."