Continuously Monitor Motion In Real Time
Preclinical Researchers Use This Metric to:
- Continuously monitor animal activity in near-real time.
- Conduct short-term studies to track acute effects of therapeutic interventions.
- Conduct long-term studies to monitor delayed and/or chronic treatment effects.
- Document the natural history of animal disease models.
Observation and quantification of freely moving animals is a powerful tool for understanding the effects of genetic, environmental, and therapeutic manipulations on physiology and behavior (1,2). Numerous studies have demonstrated that animal strain, environment, handling, pharmacological agents, disease conditions, aging, stress, and altered neurological states can impact quantifiable aspects of animal activity (2-7). Measurement of overall activity, as well as specific subtypes of activity such as circadian rhythms and particular aspects of locomotion, can be used as an integrated readout for tracking disease progression.
VIUM MOTION METRIC
Vium’s automated sensors and computer-vision algorithms provide continuous observation using HD video captured at 24 frames per second (Figure 1). Our proprietary algorithms discriminate and quantify animal behaviors including spontaneous wheel-running, breathing rate, and circadian activity.
Our platform’s ability to accurately measure motion across a range of at speeds up to 5 cm/s was validated using a speed-controlled visual target placed within a Vium Smart House.
METHODS AND RESULTS
A visual target, placed within a standard Vium Smart House, was set to move at physiologically relevant speeds ranging from 0.5 – 5 cm/s. Raw video was transformed into cage-floor coordinates, and rendered into velocity measurements via computer vision analysis (8). The speed estimated using computer vision video analysis was compared to actual speed of the visual target in both high density (mouse size) and low density (rat or mouse) Smart Houses (Fig. 2). Confidence interval is based on mean and standard deviation of the percentage error.
Our validated motion metric is used to detect changes in overall animal activity, and also to derive metrics to assess disease progression in a variety of rodent models, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, potentially replacing the need for more laborious and less reliable conventional measurements. Detection of these features of animal activity could be used as direct readouts of therapeutic efficacy in relevant models, as a source of insights into novel or unexpected drug effects, as an indicator of animal health or moribund status, and/or as an early indication of potential safety signals.
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