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807B: in-situ Large Rodent/Small Animal Apparatus

The 807B Large Rodent/Small Animal Apparatus enables physiology researchers to easily perform in-situ muscle characterization on large rodents and other small animals with an Aurora Scientific 309C or 310C Dual-Mode muscle lever.

This system consists of a mounting plate on which the animal lies, a raised platform for holding the limb of interest, and various clamps for immobilizing the limb. The motor mount has manually-operated three axis translation stages for positioning the lever arm with respect to the animal and for adjusting resting tension or resting length. Both the animal plate and the raised limb plate can be temperature controlled by circulating water through these plates. A lab circulating bath can easily maintain the animal and limb plates at the desired physiological temperature.

The 807B frame permits simple movement of the animal with respect to the motor, allowing the researcher to adjust according to the size of the animal and the desired attachment point. The animal plate can be locked at the desired horizontal location with thumb screws. The 807B can accommodate vertical and lateral motor positions as the motor can be raised and lowered through a wide range with the precision adjusting stages.

All parts are manufactured from corrosion-resistant materials (anodized aluminum, stainless steel and Delrin). The frame is formed from an extrusion that includes T-slots, allowing additional equipment to be easily mounted on the frame. Extra T-nuts and screws can be purchased from Aurora Scientific.

  • system designed for large rodents and other small animals
  • temperature controlled animal and limb plate
  • flexible limb clamping, several different limb clamps for in situ experiments. Clamps can be mounted at various locations
  • holes provided in limb platform for fixating pins
  • animal platform mounted on a horizontal slide allowing clear access to animal while positioning the limb
  • fine translation stage on motor mount to accurately set resting tension
  • lever system mounted on vertical and horizontal slides to allow easy positioning of lever with respect to the limb
  • T-slot design provides flexibility to easily add additional equipment
  • corrosion resistant materials used throughout

807B – A Custom Apparatus for Rat Models

CHALLENGE

In 2011 Aurora Scientific was approached by Dr. Christopher Cardozo at the VA medical center to assist with researching the mechanisms of muscle atrophy in rats. Dr. Cardozo planned to use in-situ methodology to test certain muscles of interest; however, his rat model was very large and he expected that they would produce large forces. Aurora Scientific’s existing 1305A system and 806D platform could accommodate the measurement of forces up to 10N, which the animals were expected to well exceed. Larger transducers existed but they were too big to fit on the existing 806D.

SOLUTION

Aurora Scientific had recently redesigned most of their in-situ apparatus and had spent a great deal of R&D time on building large animal apparatus. As a result, Aurora Scientific had the experience and expertise to design a solution that would meet the needs of Dr. Cardozo and deliver at an affordable price. A new apparatus was designed, more robust and easily able to withstand the higher forces and loads of large animals, yet still compatible with existing clamps and accessories for small animal use.

RESULTS

The Aurora Scientific solution worked well in Dr. Cardozo’s lab and provided an easy way for him to measure muscle force in large animals. He was able to collect large amounts of useful, experimental data. The unit would later go on to find a minor niche for in-situ testing in lizards and also squirrels and other less conventional animal models. The redesign ultimately became the centerpiece of our 1310A complete system.

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