Rodent gait analysis
The assessment of gait and locomotion is important in conditions that affect the central nervous system (CNS), peripheral nervous system (PNS) and skeletal structures or muscles. In research with rodent models, CatWalk™ XT is perfect for automatic and sensitive testing.
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Footprints and Gait dynamics
Traditional methods such as BBB scoring, running wheels, and ink on paper are subjective and quick to master, nor do they assess the temporal dynamics of gate accurately. The CatWalk XT system comes complete with software, providing a both accurate and objective method, and allowing for a more detailed assessment of each individual footfall. CatWalk XT has proven itself as an objective, non-intrusive, and accurate tool for researchers in the field of spinal cord injury, Parkinson disease, arthritis, cerebral ataxia, and neuropathic pain.
Illuminated footprints technology
The software automatically detects each part of the animal that makes contact with the floor. These are typically the four paws but can also be the animal’s tail or abdomen. The Illuminated Footprints™ technology allows for an accurate distinction between the parts of the animal that make contact with the floor, and parts that do not. The Illuminated Footprints technology even allows for assessment of how the animal’s body weight is distributed across the paws during locomotion. This is visualized in a 3D graph, giving you an immediate feel for the dimensions and intensity of each footfall.
During footprint classification, each footfall needs to be assigned to the correct paw. Visibility of the body contour facilitates easy manual classification. However, the Automatic Footprint Classification™ Module eliminates the need to classify each footprint manually. At the push of a button, all the footprints in a run are automatically classified.
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Getting the perfect run
CatWalk™ XT is a gait analysis system based on the voluntary movement of rats or mice across a corridor, over a glass plate. Generally, animals quickly learn to cross in a consistent manner, especially rats. However, familiarizing them with the system before you start your experiment makes your job a lot easier. So how do you familiarize and motivate your rats?
Kristina Ängeby Möller has a lot of experience with pain research and gait analysis in rats, and shares some tips and tricks!
The CatWalk XT system takes into account a stress-free environment, voluntary movement, and motivation to achieve good throughput. Feedback from our customers tells us that animals quickly learn to walk across the corridor in a consistent manner, so it is easy to extract a lot of data from the run videos. Classifying the footprints is done automatically and – at least as importantly – quickly and efficiently. It literally only takes seconds.
Dr. Price: "I think the CatWalk is probably one of the most sophisticated pieces of equipment that I have seen."
NeuroPore Therapies (San Diego, California) does important research in the field of neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Diana Price, Dr. Asma Khan and Robert Johnson are currently using CatWalk XT to study Parkinson’s disease.