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 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. We partnered with the leading manufacturers of rodent housing systems (Allentown and Innovive) to enable remote monitoring capabilities with high-density IVC rack systems.