Instrumented observation cage

PhenoTyper

PhenoTyper is an instrumented observation cage to measure and test the behavior of laboratory rodents. Every cage is equipped with a top unit (LED units and a camera) and optionally with other sensor and stimuli devices.

Benefits

  • Full integration of test environment and video equipment
  • Adaptable to fit your research aims
  • Work with hardware and your animals’ behavior (e.g. operant conditioning)
 

PhenoTyper customizable video

Customize your PhenoTyper

PhenoTyper is very customizable to your research: several different walls are available to accomodate any set-up, from simple novel cage testing to home cage environment and operant conditioning setups!

Each configuration consists of a bottom plate, four replaceable walls, and a PhenoTyper top unit. Walls are translucent but can optionally be replaced by (partially) opaque/matted walls to reduce reflection, which is useful for specific studies.

 


Statistics

We are celebrating that more than 1,750 PhenoTypers are part of research in labs worldwide!

 


Sizing options and features

PhenoTyper is available in two standard sizes: the PhenoTyper 3000 has a floor area of 30cm x 30cm (12"x 12") and the PhenoTyper 4500 has a floor area of 45cm x 45cm (18" x 18"). Custom sizing is also possible, for example a model of 90cm x 90cm (36" x 36") has been used in studies. 

The instrumented top unit contains an infrared sensitive camera with three arrays of infrared LED lights. You can adjust light conditions experimentally to e.g. create a day/night cycle, use the single tone for operant conditioning tests, or use the white spot light for approach-avoidance behavior testing.

PhenoTyper top unit
  • PhenoTyper 3000 (standard size) - floor size 30cm x 30cm (11.8" x 11.8"), wall height 35cm (13.8")
  • PhenoTyper 4500 (standard size) - floor size 45cm x 45cm (17.7" x 17.7"), wall height 55cm (21.7")
  • PhenoTyper 9000 (custom size) - 90cm x 90cm (35.4" x 35.4"), wall height 100cm (39.4")
  • top unit, 30cm x 30cm (11.8" x 11.8"), height 9cm (3.5")
  • Video output - CCIR black/white Vpp-75 Ohm (PAL) or EIA black/white Vpp-75 Ohm (NTSC)
  • Infrared lighting - 3 integrated IR arrays through diffuser
  • Audio stimulus - Frequency ~2300 Hz; level ~70 dB
  • House light - 590 nm
  • White spotlight - 5500ºK color temperature; level 0-1000 lux
  • Power supply - 24 VDC-15W
 


DoRego Lab rouen behind computer

Dr. Do Rego "Automatic measurements makes us gain in quality"

Dr. Jean-Claude do Rego and Dr. Jean-Luc do Rego of the Behavioral Analysis Facility of the University of Rouen (Service Commun d’Analyse Comportementale, SCAC), are evaluating the behavioral and functional activities of new pharmacological drugs.

Watch the video to learn more about why they select Noldus PhenoTyper for their research.

 


PhenoTyper and social interaction

PhenoTyper is perfect to study social interaction in great detail. You can even prompt stimuli responding to animal behavior. For example, release a food reward when animals are in the same area together, or when they both press a lever. This protocol can easily be automated with EthoVision XT.

ethovision social interaction integrated visualization
 


PhenoTyper running wheel rat

PhenoTyper and operant conditioning

PhenoTyper is ideal for operant conditioning tests: in combination with EthoVision XT, procotols are easily automated. For example, switch on a light when your mouse enters a zone, give the rat a food reward after a lever press, or switch on the brake of the Activity wheel after a number of rotations. There are a large number of operant modules that can be connected to the PhenoTyper cage, for example to automatically apply an air puff or give a food reward.

 


PhenoTyper and anxiety testing

You can use mild aversive stimuli for anxiety testing in PhenoTyper. You can, for example, automatically switch on a light when your animal enters a certain zone or illuminate the food hopper in the dark period when the animal has been eating or drinking for a certain time. But you can also equip PhenoTyper with an illuminated shelter that can be controlled with EthoVision XT’s Trial & Hardware Control Module. This way a light can switch on automatically when the animal enters the shelter, or chooses a specific shelter entrance. You can extend your setup with other TTL-based hardware. This way you can adjust your anxiety tests entirely to your needs.

PhenoTyper areas defined anxiety research
 


Customer success story Prevot

Study anxiety and depression using PhenoTyper cages

Dr. Thomas Prévôt from the University of Toronto uses the PhenoTyper to induce an acute stress response, in order to assess anxiety-like and depressive-like behavior in rodents.

Watch the video to learn more about why he chooses Noldus' tools.

 


References

Here is a selection of recent papers that mention the use of PhenoTyper. If you feel your paper should be on this list, please let us know at marcom@noldus.nl!

  

 



Relevant blogs

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Towards automated homecage monitoring of group housed rats

Rodent social behavior is important in research on neuropsychiatric disorders, but major limitations hamper progress.
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Why it is smart to test your animal in its home cage

Behavior of laboratory rodents is often studied in well-controlled, simple experiments, in an environment that is fundamentally different from the animal’s home cage.
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User Meeting: exploring external data integration

A few months ago, we organized our very first User Meeting about EthoVision XT and external data integration! The meeting included interesting talks, discussions, and demonstrations with a diverse group of participants.
 
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