806D: in-situ Rat Apparatus

The 806D rat apparatus allows researchers to provide the “complete picture” of muscle properties (in-vitro, in-situ and in-vivo) in a single, easy to use test system.

The 806D platform can be quickly configured to include a 25mL bath plate, allowing researchers to assess isolated, intact muscle contractions in-vitro (using a lever arm). Alternatively, this bath can be removed and replaced with an animal and limb plate for measuring contractions in-situ (with a lever arm) or in-vivo (with a foot plate). The moveable animal platform allows clear access to the animal while positioning the limb.

Several mount locations are available for a variety of limb clamps suited to the researcher’s needs. The platform can also be temperature controlled to ensure body temperature is regulated.

The associated lever system (300 series) is mounted on translation stages to allow accurate positioning of the lever with respect to the limb. In addition, the motor mount contains a fine translation stage for setting resting tension. The 806D apparatus is engineered to last, utilizing corrosion resistant material and a T-slot design for future expansion.

  • in-vitro, in-situ and in-vivo muscle experimentation in one platform

  • designed specifically for rat applications

  • simple to switch between configurations

  • flexible limb clamping

  • adjustable animal platform with option for temperature control using a circulating bath

  • dual coarse/fine translation stage

  • T-slot design for flexibility and expansion

  • corrosion resistant materials


in-vitro Bath Variant – 806D-IV in-vitro Rat Apparatus:
Perform in-vitro experiments on intact rat muscle in the 25 mL horizontal bath

Stories of Success

1305A – Footplate Configuration for Rats Invaluable to the Study of Muscle Damage


In 2012, Marius Locke at the University of Toronto had been studying skeletal muscle damage and the role that heat shock proteins (HSPs) play in protecting the muscle from stress induced damage, such as exercise.

Dr. Locke was looking for equipment that could reliably and repeatedly induce muscle damage in his rats while accurately quantifying force production and recovery.


Our 1305A system was suggested for the job as it had the ability to perform the kinds of repeated contractions that Dr. Locke was looking to accomplish. It was first implemented piecemeal to integrate with some existing equipment in the laboratory, but because of its ease of use, the remaining Aurora Scientific pieces were added for a complete system. Aurora Scientific technical support helped craft the best protocols for Dr. Locke’s experiments and soon thereafter the first cohort of rats was tested.


The system has helped Dr. Locke and his graduate students publish valuable findings about the protective role of HSPs in damaged muscle. In addition, Dr. Locke established an important rat model of standard human exercise protocols to gain valuable, physiologically relevant data which may one day be applicable to athletes and people alike.

806D – Animal Platform An Important Tool for Further Regenerative and Translational Medicine Efforts


In 2013 Dr. George Christ, then of WFIRM, was studying links between gene expression and functional changes in muscle and other tissues.

He had previously been using other Aurora Scientific equipment to test the functional phenotype of various knock out and transgenic mice in his lab applying the in-vivo footplate technique. However, searching for small and subtle changes in muscle function between wild-type and transgenic animals could be wiped out with inconsistent experimental technique.


Shortly after his students began using the Aurora Scientific 806D for their rat studies, Matt visited Dr. Christ’s lab to demonstrate some of the finer points of the 806D apparatus. These included using the associated limb clamps for proper joint and limb fixation, proper electrode placement using high quality electrodes, and keeping the animal warm and consistently anesthetized over the course of the experiment. Implementation of these techniques helped Dr. Christ’s students gain comfort and proficiency with the experiments and techniques involved.


Dr. Christ is still using the equipment in his new lab at the University of Virginia and the equipment has been used to help him publish novel work in the field of biomaterials as they apply to regenerative medicine. Additionally, the techniques learned continue to be used by a future generation of graduate students keen to carry on this exciting research.

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Apparatus 806D
Limb Platform Dimensions [mm] 82.5 W x 89 L
Animal Platform Dimensions [mm] 190 W x 305 L
Platform Horizontal Movement [mm] 225
Lever System1 Movement [mm] Vertical: 41
Side-to-side: 125
Resting Tension Adjustment [mm] ±10
Tension Travel per Knob Rotation [mm] Course: 20
Fine: 2.6
Limb Clamp Fixation 25 mounting locations

1 = Compatible with 300C and 305C lever systems

Temperature Control 806D
Type Circulated heated water
Fittings Dry-break, quick connect
General Specifications 806D
Weight [kg] 5.0
Dimensions [cm] Overall: 31 W x 53 L x 13 H
Frame: 28 W x 50 L x 13 H


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