It’s What’s Inside That Counts

  • Allentown is proud to spotlight the unique, RFID-enabled, home cage monitoring system offered by Unified Information Devices (UID), a leading provider of RFID identification and data collection solutions.

    For a complete understanding of mouse phenotypes, it is important to monitor animal activity and behavior over long periods of time in the absence of external stimuli. Video-based systems allow researchers to leave the room and monitor the animals remotely, but this practice is not only costly, but also time- and labor-intensive since it relies on research staff being fully dedicated to video interpretation – which also introduces experimenter bias. Temperature is another important biomarker for evaluating animal health and welfare. However, conventional temperature recording methods require frequent handling and the use of intrusive devices (i.e., rectal probes) that are stressful to the animals. Furthermore, it is difficult to accurately monitor animals without disturbance, in a group-housed setting, or at night when they are most active.

    The UID Mouse Matrix was developed to address the challenges researchers currently face when evaluating temperature and activity in socially-housed mice. This novel RFID-enabled system allows for continuous and remote monitoring of digital biomarkers, such as locomotor activity and temperature, for one or multiple mice in their home-cage environment. The system can monitor group-housed mice in a completely undisturbed setting. Valuable research data can be collected automatically in real-time (24/7), even during the dark phase. In addition to removing experimenter bias, the UID Mouse Matrix can help improve study outcomes by permitting frequent and accurate measurements of progressive behavioral and physiological changes over time in the same animal.

    Burleson Research Technologies had the following to say about their experience with the UID technology and Mouse Matrix:

    “BRT has migrated to almost exclusive use of RFID for identification. This facilitates workflows and electronic data collections and to a reduction in the human error associated with maintaining and reading other forms of identification as well as manual data collection. We exclusively use rodent models. The platform we use is from UID Identification Solutions for both rats and mice. The chips are proprietary to the UID readers but they have a whole series of devices from handheld, to wands, and pass throughs. The chips offer the unique advantage of user defined character space on the chip identification. This was very attractive to us as we can put our animal numbers and study numbers on the chip in human readable form rather than relying on a computer to read the chip code (very hard for staff to use that number to drive operations). In addition, we have now been using their temperature capable chips that simultaneously provide body temperature at the same time as the animal ID, very useful for our host resistance studies. Coupling ID and temperature with UID’s innovative 2D RFID antenna array that are the footprint of rodent cages facilitates real-time tracking animal activity and body temperature for group-housed animals. These technologies from UID are providing our research with a new level of clinical health monitoring for our studies, an important step for refinement of humane endpoints.”

    The UID Mouse Matrix is now available on Allentown NexGen Mouse IVCs.