PhenoTyper add-ons

Add the devices you need for your research

Based on the experiment you want to automate, you can choose not only walls, but also the research devises that attach to them. Whether it is a tether that attaches to your subject via a commutator or a 3rd party measuring device, they can be integrated in your PhenoTyper. The walls accommodate attachments for a number of accessories, such as a feeding station, drinking bottles, CognitionWall, and shelters. You can connect a wide variety of stimulus and monitoring devices via the USB-IO box to the PhenoTyper cage. This page contains examples of add-ons and applications.

PhenoTyper add-ons

IR translucent shelter mouse PhenoTyper


With the PhenoTyper we have several standard shelters for animals with both dark and light coat colors. These shelters are available for rats and mice and can be attached to a corner of the cage so they will be in a fixed position during your experiment. Entry holes can be monitored automatically with EthoVision XT so you can count visits and duration of stay. You can even detect if the animal is on top of the shelter as was demonstrated by this paper.

In case you want to observe the animal inside the shelter we have an IR translucent option making the black shelter appear as made of glass in the video. This is all possible because of the combination of the integrated infrared lighting and camera that the PhenoTyper can provide. Behaviors inside the shelter can thus be observed and analyzed with EthoVision XT and The Observer XT.

  • Height: 5 to 6 cm (1,9” to 2,4”)
  • Width:  10 cm (3.9”)
  • Length: 10 cm (3.9”)
  • Hole diameter: 32 mm (1,3")


Pellet Dispenser

The pellet dispenser is an indispensable tool in reinforced-based conditioning tasks. On command it can deliver food pellets and provide feedback whether a pellet is dropped or when the pellet silo is empty. The control of the pellet dispenser is fully compatible with EthoVision XT, so you can drop pellets based on the most sophisticated and interactive test protocols that involve the reinforcement of specific behaviors.

Every pellet dispenser comes with a 20mg or 40mg pellet carousel that are color coded and can easily be swapped between experiments

Learn more: 

Huwart, S.J. et al., 2022. Food Reward Alterations during Obesity Are Associated with Inflammation in the Striatum in Mice: Beneficial Effects of Akkermansia Muciniphila. Cells, 11, 2534.

  • Height: 20cm (7.9”)
  • Base diameter:  10cm (3.9”)
  • Silo diameter: 7,5cm (3”)
  • Weight: 1200 gram
  • Pellets: 20mg, 3.2 mm x 2.5 mm (0.13” x 0.1”)
Pellet dispenser

PhenoTyper lickometer

Drinking behavior with the Lickometer

The Lickometer detects contact made with the spout of a water bottle, by means of detecting change in capacitance between the spout and the metal plate situated beneath the cage. This technology differs from conventional technology where the animal becomes part of an electrical circuit that involves a current flow passing through the animal. Data from the lickometer is sent to the I/O box and ultimately to EthoVision XT where its data is combined with other data such as video tracking.

Learn more:

Broom, K.A. et al. 2019. Early-Life Exposure to Pulsed LTE Radiofrequency Fields Causes Persistent Changes in Activity and Behavior in C57BL/6 J Mice. Bioelectromagnetics, 40, 498–511.

  • Dimensions box: 80 x 45 x 21 mm (3.15” x 1.77” x 0.83”)
  • Dimensions L-profile tab: 80 x 55mm (3.15” x 2.17”)
  • Weight: 200 gram


Optogenetics and Calcium imaging with tethered animals

PhenoTyper 2 is especially well suited for experiments with tethered animals. Small or large commutators can easily be integrated with its modular design. Devices to deliver optogenetic stimulation to the animal, such as a laser or LED connected to fiber optics, can easily be connected to or built-into the PhenoTyper 2 top unit. Examples of tethered devices include those from Prizmatix or Inscopix. A special camera module is equipped with a hole to easily pas tethers true without damaging them.

Stimulation can be programmed and controlled from EthoVision XT’s trial and hardware control module. It goes without saying that the behavioral changes in your animal during or after the optogenetic stimuli can be detected with our EthoVision XT tracking and analysis software.

Learn more: 

Sciolino, N.R. et al. 2022. Natural Locus Coeruleus Dynamics during Feeding. Sci. Adv. 8, eabn9134.

Live calcium imaging

Noldus USB-IO box


The Noldus USB-IO box is a device that enables EthoVision XT to communicate directly with external equipment, such as the lickometer, levers, or the light and sound stimuli in the top unit. It allows you to benefit from all the different options for completely automated set-ups that EthoVision XT offers. This even includes set-ups with multiple cages and multiple animals per cage, in synchrony with external physiological signals.



Wheels for rats and mice

For mice we have the PhenoWheel that measures each rotation that a mouse makes while inside the running wheel. It is designed to be connected to the I/O box so its data ends up in EthoVision XT. You use EthoVision XT to measure the amount of time spent in the running wheel and the revolutions it made while on the wheel. The wheel is easy to clean and is attached directly to one of the PhenoTyper walls.

For rats we have the Activity Wheel, which is a running wheel that is connected to the outside of a PhenoTyper cage. It is connected with the PhenoTyper via a drop down door, which can be opened and closed in order to allow or prevent access. The wheel has an electronic brake with nine resistance levels, and an LCD counter display.

The rotations of the Activity Wheel are measured by means of a magnet and a magnetic sensor. The PhenoCounter module counts the number of rotations (four counts per revolution) and sends this information to EthoVision XT. In addition to this, you can use EthoVision XT to measure the amount of time spent in the Activity Wheel. The data from the counter module can also be used as a condition in test protocols that are executed by EthoVision XT.

Learn more: 

Reiber, M. et al. 2022. Phenotyping Young GluA1 Deficient Mice–a Behavioral Characterization in a Genetic Loss-of-Function Model. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 16, 877094.

PhenoTyper PhenoWheel PhenoTyper running wheel rat


Mouse Feeding Monitor

The Mouse Feeding Monitor (MFM) is a low-cost, easy-to-clean, and reliable solution designed to monitor the interaction of a mouse with the stainless-steel feeder, that comes with your PhenoTyper. Based on a beam break mechanism the MFM can register interaction duration and frequency, which correlates with the disappearance of food. This IR beam is pulsating at a frequency of 38kHz; this ensures that any other IR sources cannot interfere with its operation.

The MFM is connected to EthoVision XT for collecting and analyzing the data from the MFM so it can be incorporated with your tracking data.

Learn more:

Mohammad, H. et al. 2021. Neural Circuit for Excessive Feeding Driven by Environmental Context in Mice. Nat. Neurosci. 24, 1132–1141.

PhenoTyper Mouse Feeding Monitor parts
PhenoTyper Mouse Feeding Monitor

Various PhenoTyper walls

Wall Types

Not only add-ons make your PhenoTyper varied, the walls are also customizable to suit your set-up. Think of different sizes, openings, connections and for add-ons. Custom options for your particular research are also possible. It all depends on your research.


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