In short, we record any combination of these four physiological parameters:
- Blood pressure
- Body temperature
- Activity (mice only)
We record from conscious, freely moving rats or mice. Recordings can last from a few minutes to several days.
You provide the animals. You can buy wild-type mice or standard rat strains from a commercial source (Taconic, Janvier, Charles River, Envigo, Jackson), and have them delivered to the local animal stables.
Genetically modified mice can be imported via the Core Facility for Transgenic Mice (link). In short, you send sperm and they will rederive the mouse line. We pay the cost of the rederivation, but you have to pay for the sperm freezing and shipment plus the following cage charges and genotyping. You will probably want to fill out a material transfer agreement (MTA) and usually you home institution can aid you in the process.
Surgically induced disease models have to be made in our laboratories. We can grant you access and you do the surgery. Alternatively, we may be able to do it for you.
Implantation of telemitters
We implant the telemetric implants, i.e., the radiotransmitter that obtains and sends the signal from the animal to the receiver. We have the required ethical license for this.
Blood pressures can be recorded continuously (1 kHz), typically from the abdominal artery or carotid artery. Alternatively, venous blood pressure or ventricular pressure is in principle possible to obtain.
One lead electrocardiograms (ECG) can be recorded continuously (1-4 kHz) in any configuration required. Typically, a lead II will provide sufficient information.
Body temperature is obtained from the implant, and it can be placed in the abdominal cavity or sub-cutaneously.
Activity is determined based on the signal strength. Due to the system configuration, this measure is only available for mice. It is the physical activity of the mouse in the horizontal plane that is recorded. It is a relative measure and cannot be converted to e.g., km or energy expenditure.
During the study, the animals are placed in their own cage with or without a companion animal, based on the study design. We record continuously or at any schedule (e.g., 10 minutes every hour) you prefer.
If your study design includes administration of a drug, this can be done via intraperitoneal or intravenous injections, via dissolving the drug in the drinking water/food, via gavage or via implantation of osmotic pumps. Note that this may require an addition to the ethical license.
We keep a 12:12 light-dark schedule, but this can be altered according to your study design.
The animal caretakers will inspect the animals daily and ensure animal welfare and ad libitum food and water.
After the study
At termination, the animal is sacrificed and the implant is recovered, cleaned and reused. Any blood and urine samples, organs or tissues from the animals can be harvested upon request. You cover the costs of specific medias (RNAlater etc.) and shipping costs.
You get the data recordings. They will be available via a dedicated folder on Dropbox. If you want our help with analysis, we can provide this. We suggest research collaborations, where everyone involved has access to the data. We will make a written agreement of collaboration before the first experiments are initiated, and if we qualify for authorship based on the Vancouver criteria, we suggest that we are granted authorships on any publication including data from the study performed at this infrastructure. If you want exclusive rights to the data, we are required to charge significantly more in order not to be conducting illegal state aid doing contract research for you.
A substantial contribution to the conception or design of the work; acquisition, analysis, and/or interpretation of data for the work from our point will be subject to an initial discussion about authorship expectations.
Auxiliary equipment including ultrasound
The infrastructure lies adjacent to our laboratories. We welcome collaborations, through which you can gain access to the equipment and the techniques in our laboratories. Relevant for many scientists will be high-resolution ultrasound, where cardiac and vascular structure and function can be assessed. Contract us for more information.