Shelter

The Shelter is intended for the automated determination of cognitive functions (learnability and memory) of laboratory animals on the basis of the response of avoiding of an electrocutaneous irritant. It allows testing for mice or rats.

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The following parameters are determined as a result of testing:

  1. The stay time of an animal on the site (in seconds), before the animal descends to the floor.
  2. The stay time of an animal on the floor of the cell
  3. The path of the rodent for individual zones and for the whole experiment
  4. The response delay
  5. Complex statistics on a selection of rodents for AOIs (total time, average time, mathematical expectation, dispersion, stay time standard deviation, ways and movement's speeds )

Supported methods

The software package of "Shelter" was primarily designed for experiments on the following methods:

1. The conditional reaction of passive avoidance (CRPA)

Step through
The enclosed space where the rodent is placed is divided into two chambers, in one of them there is light, in the other is darkness.
The rodent is placed in the bright compartment. As soon as the rodent goes to the dark side – the electric grid and sharp sound turn on.

Step down
The rodent is placed on a small platform located at a certain height from the floor.
As soon as the rodent goes down, electrocutaneous irritation begins.

2. The conditional reaction of active avoidance (CRAA)

The room is divided into two compartments. The rodent is presented with a sequence of stimuli (light, pause, an electric current with a sharp sound).
The rodent has to study to be in time to move from one compartment to another before the emergence of electroskin irritation.

3. Conflict situations by Vogel

The rodent is not given food or water for a long time.
The rodent is placed in the compartment, where there is a feeder or a drinking bowl.
As soon as the rodent comes to the water or food in the compartment starts electrocutaneous stimulation.

4. Preference of place

For this technique, walls with different wallpaper (squares, strips, dots) are used.
The preferred wallpaper is determined according to measures the residence time of the rodent in different rooms.

 

 

  • Linear dimensions (WxHxD) — 600х520х320 mm
  • Materials — opaque black plexiglass, aluminum, steel
  • Detection of staying on the platform — Optical in the infrared range
  • Connecting to a computer with USB
  • Platform illumination at a daylight with the closed doors, without internal lamps — 2 lx
  • Platform illumination by the light of lamps on the one side — 115 lx
  • Platform illumination by the light of lamps from both sides — 185 lx
  • The step of an electric grid — the distance between the axes of rods
    • Grid for rats: 16 mm
    • Grid for mice: 8 mm
  • The free distance between the rods
    • Grid for rats: 13 мм
    • Grid for mice: 5 мм
  • The diameter of the rods of the electric grid — 3 мм
  • Pulsing automatic (controlled by software)
  • Polarity switching on rods — 10 Hz, 8 phases
  • Minimum duration of an electric pulse is 50 ms
  • Maximum current strength of the electric grid is 15 mA
  • Maximum voltage of the electric grid is 100 V
  • Power supply — 220 V
  • PC requirements
    • Processor not less then Сore 2 Duo
    • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1/8/10
    • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5

Packages

  • Standard equipment
    • stimulation and control unit
    • the base and rails
    • pallet
    • electro grid for the rats
    • 2 walls with doors
    • 4 black walls
    • 2 transparent walls 
    • wall with a hole resembling burrow
    • 3 removable platforms (150х50x10 mm, 80x40x10 mm, круглая D120 mm)
  • Motorized door with a hole resembling burrow
  • The set of wallpapers — 6 options, each option contains 4 walls, total in the set - 24 walls
    • vertical stripes
    • horizontal stripes
    • diagonal stripes
    • chess squares
    • circles
    • dots
  • Electro grid for the rats

 

Special features

The hardware-software complex is created according to the safety requirements of the medical equipment:

  • All components are made from non-toxic, pollution-resistant materials
  • Presence of galvanic isolation of power supply
  • A possibility of the emergency stop of giving of a current on a grid

The electric grid is the floor in the Shelter. The walls can be easily removed, washed, replaced by other.
Types of walls:

  • Black opaque (4 pieces in a standard set)
  • Transparent (2 pieces in the standard set)
  • Black with a door to bring in a rodent (2 pieces in a standard set)
  • Black with the holder for feeder or drinker
  • Wall with wallpaper (large and small squares, vertical and horizontal strip)

System assembly

Shelter

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