NIH Research Festival
Mice are critical to the cutting-edge research being conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As a result, NIH houses hundreds of thousands of mice on the Bethesda campus alone that are part of ongoing research efforts. Caring for all these mice is a time consuming and expensive effort that requires many man hours and millions of dollars in federal funds. Currently, for most protocols and animal facilities, cage bedding is changed by animal care staff on a weekly basis regardless of the number of animals or research conditions. Changing the bedding in cages is a necessary process to remove animal waste and ensure the animals live in a healthy home-cage environment. The consequence is this relatively frequent process can disrupt mouse behavior and introduce stress when the animals are moved from cage to cage. Changing cages less frequently, especially for low density cages with 1 or 2 mice, could not only reduce the frequency of this stress factor but also save hundreds of thousands of dollars in animal facility operation costs. The goal of the MIOS Cage Cam project is to enable researchers and animal care staff with an automated, quantitative measuring device for cage cleanliness to reform the current paradigm for cage changes so that it is need-based instead of being based on a rigid schedule.
Scientific Focus Area: Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics
This page was last updated on Friday, March 26, 2021