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Research

CLAMS

Master
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Capabilities

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The MMRU CLAMS unit can house up to 76 mice at a time. This highly versatile system is capable of monitoring/controlling the following parameters, in virtually any permutation:

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Feeding Mass Monitor

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Feeding Mass Monitor
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The CLAMS system monitors the amount of food consumed by the mouse, and the frequency and duration of each meal. The combination of these parameters enables investigators to assess appetite and satiety.

Food, in powdered form, is placed in a feeding assembly that rests on a precision modified Mettler Toledo Balance (0.01-210 g range). The mouse accesses food by eating from a spring loaded dish through an anti-foraging guard; this guard also prevents full body access to the dish.

Spillage is accounted for by a larger dish, beneath the main food cup, that catches anything that spills over the edge. This spillage collection cup also rests on the balance, and though spilled food is not accessible to the mouse, the mass remains on the balance. The mass of food consumed is monitored continuously.

Feeding bout information is gathered by disturbances on the balance, following defined set values (as determined by the investigator) for "minimum valid weight" and "maximum idle time.” "Minimum valid weight" is defined as the minimum amount of food that must be consumed in order to record a feeding event. This value can be as little as 20 mg. "Maximum idle time" defines the time that must elapse between balance disturbances to define separate meals. Because food is eaten by the mouthful, the balance often settles between bites. By setting a time value for between bites, a series of bites can be grouped as a meal. Each meal is therefore associated with a start time, finish time, and mass of food consumed. Special Teflon feeders are available for use with high fat diets.

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  • System capacity for this parameter: 76 mice (28 of which can simultaneously provide indirect calorimetry)
  • Maximum housing duration within these cages: 3 months
  • Equilibration period recommendation: 2 to 3 days
  • Weight range: 10 to 60 g
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Automated Food Access Control

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The food access control system provides an automated means to control availability of food to the mouse. A computer controlled pneumatic arm opens and closes the food gate, depending upon time of day and/or mass of food consumed. A hinged food guard prevents harm to the mouse if it is feeding at the time at which the food gate closes. As the food gate closes, the food cup lowers out of the reach of the mouse. Food access is accomplished by defining four parameters: Time On (tON), Time Off (tOFF), Duration (DUR; length of food access in hours), and Limit (mass of food consumed in grams). Examples of strategies for feeding regimes can be seen in the figure below.

This system enables pair feeding and meal feeding studies to be performed with a high level of reliability, precision, and accuracy. Indeed, the system can be programmed such that all mice within an experiment are provided access to equal amounts of food as that consumed by a specified "master" mouse or group of mice. In addition to being highly time efficient, this pair-feeding approach also avoids the one day delay between groups that occurs with the traditional manual approach to pair-feeding.

  • System capacity for this parameter: 48 mice
  • Maximum housing duration within these cages: 3 months
  • Equilibration period recommendation: 0 to 2 days
  • Weight range: 10 to 60 g
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View graphs illustrating control of food access dependent on Weight (A), Time (B,C), or both (D). Examples given for wild-type (control) versus ob/ob mice.

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Activity/Locomotion Monitoring

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Activity/Locomotion Monitoring
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The Columbus Instruments Opto M3 is a multi-channel activity monitoring system for the continuous measurement of ambulatory and total movement. Infra-red beams are projected at 0.5" spacing across the cage. During movement, the beams are broken by the mouse, and this sends signals to a central computer. The beams can detect movement along both the X (length of cage) and Z (height) axes. The system is a component of the calorimetry cages.

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Free Running Wheels

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Cage with free running wheels
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Additionally, 12 of these cages can be modified to include free running wheels. The system records the number of revolutions, distance, and speed run, and the time of day when the activity occurs.

System capacity for this parameter: 28 mice
Maximum housing duration within these cages: 1 month
Equilibration period recommendation: 2 to 3 days
Weight range: 10 to 60 g

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Body Temperature Telemetry

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Body Temperature Telemetry
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Columbus Instruments has teamed with Mini Mitter® for continuous monitoring of core body temperature within the CLAMS. The revolutionary transmitting device does not require batteries, and thereby eliminates the time and expense involved in refurbishment. Through the use of the ER-4000 Energizer-Receiver system (a component of the calorimetry cages), the transmitter (G2 E-Mitter; 1.5g weight; surgically implanted within the abdominal cavity) is energized via magnetic impulses. The device continually transmits body temperature information that is recorded by the programmed computer.

System capacity for this parameter: 16 mice
Maximum housing duration within these cages: 1 month
Recovery from surgery: 2 weeks
Equilibration period recommendation: 2 to 3 days
Weight range: 20 to 60 g

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Calorimetry System (with or without free running wheels)

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Calorimetry System
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The calorimetry system monitors oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations at the inlet and outlet ports of a chamber through which a known volume of air flows. This information enables the calculation of oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and respiratory exchange ratio, providing accurate and reproducible data on whole body energy expenditure.

The MMRU has two calorimetry systems permitting either 1 experiment with up to 28 mice, or 2 experiments with up to 16 and 12 mice, respectively, to be run concurrently. The two systems have different configurations: automated food access control and telemetry are available on the 16 cage system, and voluntary wheel running capability with food monitoring available on the 12 cage system.

System capacity for this parameter: 28 mice (12 and 16)
Maximum housing duration within these cages: 1 month
Equilibration period recommendation: 2 to 3 days
Weight range: 10 to 60 g

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Treadmill with Calorimetry

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Treadmill with Calorimetry
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The modular treadmill is comprised of one master lane and one slave lane. These are enclosed in individual chambers, with each housing an exercise belt, associated pulleys and electrical stimuli. The chambers have a "Metabolic Option" that provides measurement of VO2, VCO2, RER, and, energy expenditure. The treadmill chambers provide each mouse with 1.75" (4.4 cm) of headroom and are 2" (5 cm) wide. The length of the running surface is 12" (25.4 cm), and the volume of the enclosure is approximately 2 liters. The incline of each treadmill lane is individually adjustable in 5° increments from -10° to +25°. Tread speed is adjustable over the range of 2 to 50 meters per minute with a resolution of 0.1 meters per minute. The mouse comes into contact with PVC, Lexan and UHMW (ultra-high molecular weight plastic) materials within the treadmill.

The lanes are equipped with stimulus grids to promote running. A scrambled electrical stimulus is presented as a series of 200 millisecond pulses with an adjustable pulse repetition rate of 1 to 4 per second. The intensity is also adjustable from 0.35mA to 3.4mA. LED lamps indicate stimulus grid excitation and switches are provided to engage or terminate stimulus in each lane.

For Reservations: Please e-mail Dr. Fiorotto or Firoz Vohra with your request and specify: date(s), time(s), and how long you wish to use it for.

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Treadmill

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Treadmill
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Exer-3/6 (Columbus Instruments) is the third generation, general purpose three (rats) or six (mice) lane animal exerciser utilizing single belt construction with opaque PVC dividing walls suspended over the tread surface. An included drive motor controller provides smooth and continuous adjustment of speed in the range 2.5-100 m/m in 0.1 meter/minute increments per second. The treadmill inclination can be altered from -15° to +25° in 5° increments. The exercising belt is made with special material that facilitates the animals' grip and is easy to clean. The treadmill has the electrical stimulus system option composed of six shock grids, each with individual on/off switches. Stimulus intensity is adjustable and LED lamps indicate which stimulus grid is active. Software included, provides remote control over the treadmill and settings for speed and acceleration, records distance traveled and data is saved in CSV format for Excel or similar statistical software.

For Reservations: Please e-mail Dr. Fiorotto or Firoz Vohra with your request and specify: date(s), time(s), and how long you wish to use it for.

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Treadmill

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Treadmill
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Exer-3/6 (Columbus Instruments) is the third generation, general purpose three (rats) or six (mice) lane animal exerciser utilizing single belt construction with opaque PVC dividing walls suspended over the tread surface. An included drive motor controller provides smooth and continuous adjustment of speed in the range 2.5-100 m/m in 0.1 meter/minute increments per second. The treadmill inclination can be altered from -15° to +25° in 5° increments. The exercising belt is made with special material that facilitates the animals' grip and is easy to clean. The treadmill has the electrical stimulus system option composed of six shock grids, each with individual on/off switches. Stimulus intensity is adjustable and LED lamps indicate which stimulus grid is active. Software included, provides remote control over the treadmill and settings for speed and acceleration, records distance traveled and data is saved in CSV format for Excel or similar statistical software.

For Reservations: Please e-mail Dr. Fiorotto or Firoz Vohra with your request and specify: date(s), time(s), and how long you wish to use it for.