This review article is written by our Scientific Director Dr. Stefano Gaburro, together with Dr. Vootele Voikar, manager of the behavioral unit at the University of Helsinki. They consider the possible solutions for the systematic phenotyping of mouse models by offering a brief overview of technologies available for building home-cage monitoring (HCM) systems. They focus specifically on how the DVC® contributes to advance science, based on extensive experience in its development and use. Importantly, the presented solution can be viewed as additional means for high-throughput phenotyping, although not preventing detailed and hypothesis-driven testing. In fact, the novel DVC® technology can track single animals (distance traveled, velocity) or provide an average percentage of locomotion at the cage level (which corresponds to the average locomotion of single animals). Additionally, the environment in which the animals are tested in are individually ventilated cages (IVC) in which mice are born—a true home-cage environment. This is fundamentally different compared to the other commercially available system where the animals have to be moved into novel, “artificial” cages or testing environments.
Noteworthy, both authors demonstrate how the Home Cage Monitoring system data can be statistically analysed for further interpretation, providing a complete picture for the systems use. Ultimately, they recommend the use of home cage monitoring systems in contingency plans e.g. Covid19.
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