There is a new version of this product available. Check out the 400C Series of Force Transducers!

400B: Force Transducers

The 400B series of force transducers is the next generation of our widely used 400A series. This new series advances the design by moving the sensitive signal processing circuitry into the transducer head itself. These new circuits allow any sensor head in the series to be plugged into the control electronics. Researchers can now purchase multiple heads to cover different force ranges, or as spares, and use them with a single controller. Other benefits of the new design are reduced noise, increased sensitivity and greatly improved linearity.

The 400B series of isometric force transducers enables contractile measurements from a variety of muscle types and sizes and are designed to meet the needs of muscle researchers. Each model is capable of measuring force in both tension and compression. These transducers are more robust and have less compliance than typical semi-conductor strain gauges. Physiologists now have a reliable and more economical way to quickly measure the contractile properties of all muscle types and connective tissue.

There are seven models in the series with the most sensitive model featuring a resolution of 10nN (1 microgram). With a frequency response up to 4kHz, researchers can measure forces from individual cells, single fibers and whole muscle covering a force range from 0.5mN to 1000mN.

Researchers can confidently measure force with extremely low compliance (<5µm at full load), eliminating any significant length change in the sample. The design provides excellent thermal stability and minimal sensitivity to vibration and interference. It also provides reliability and ease-of-use without troublesome compensation and filtering techniques.

  • measure force production of skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle as well as connective tissue
  • any sensor head can be plugged into the control electronics

  • maximum force range from 0.5mN – 1000mN

  • force measurement in both compression and tension

  • high frequency response, up to 4kHz

  • high resolution (10nN for 406B)

  • incredibly low compliance (5µm at full load – all models)

  • excellent thermal stability
  • rejection of ambient vibrations or interference

  • rugged, repairable and easy-to-use

  • ready-to-use, complete with sensor head and electronics

  • digital output display


Complete, ready-to-use force transducers designed for fast response, high resolution and low compliance measurement of mechanical properties, ranging from 0.5mN to 1000mN:

400B: 50mN
402B: 500mN
403B: 5mN

404B: 100mN
405B: 10mN

406B: 0.5mN
407B: 1000mN


Available Sensor Heads:

400B-HD: 50mN
402B-HD: 500mN
403B-HD: 5mN

404B-HD: 100mN
405B-HD: 10mN

406B-HD: 0.5mN
407B-HD: 1000mN

Stories of Success

400A – Studying cancer cachexia in mouse models


In 2011 Dr. Theresa Guise and her colleague Dr. Andrew Marks approached Aurora Scientific seeking help in functionally characterizing muscle from their mouse tumor model. They were looking to assess the progression of muscle loss and weakness in these mice and investigate potential therapies.

Because the pathology in these mice was incredibly aggressive, many animals would need to be tested in a short period of time. This would necessitate the use of multiple rigs and a robust transducer that allowed for high throughput. Because Dr. Guise was only looking to perform basic isometric strength and fatigue measures, a dual-mode lever system would have been prohibitively expensive for its capabilities.


Enter the Aurora Scientific 407A. As the transducer in the 400A series with the greatest force measurement capacity, it was suitable for making isometric force measurements in whole skeletal muscle from mouse. The unit is the most robust out of the whole 400A series, lessening the risk of accidental damage. The 407A was effectively paired with a modified 800A in-vitro muscle apparatus, as well as our 701C electrical stimulator and 615A DMC/DMA software.


The 407A transducer helped the labs of Dr. Guise and Dr. Marks to test many mouse models of cancer cachexia and performed so well that several more units were required in both labs to keep up with demand. Using the Aurora Scientific 407A, these researchers were ultimately able to determine the mechanisms and pathways that cause muscle weakness associated with various cancers. These results and many others were recently published in Nature Medicine.

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Force Specifications 400B 402B 403B 404B 405B 406B 407B
Maximum Force [± mN] 50 500 5 100 10 0.5 1,000
Resolution [µN] 1.0 10.0 0.1 2.0 0.2 0.01 20.0
Scale Factor [mN/Volt ±2%] 5.0 50.0 0.5 10.0 1.0 0.05 100.0
Signal Linearity1 [%] 99.9 99.9 99.9 99.9 99.9 99.9 99.9
Step Response Time2 [millisecond] 0.3 0.1 1.0 0.3 1.0 5.0 0.1
Resonant Frequency3 [Hz] 2,000 4,000 600 2,000 600 100 4,000
Compliance [µm/mN] 0.1 0.01 1.0 0.1 1.0 10.0 0.01
Zero Drift [µN/°C] 5 50 0.5 10 1 0.05 100
Gain Drift [%/°C] 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Hysteresis [% of force change] 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Maximum Overload Force [mN] 250 2,500 25 250 25 2.5 2,500
Output Tube Length (L) [mm] 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Output Tube Diameter (D) [mm] 0.9 1.1 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 1.1

1 = Over full force range; 2 = 1 to 99%; 3 = -3dB point

General Specifications All Models
Operating Temperature [°C] 0 – 40
Power Required 100, 120, 220, 240 VAC, 50/60 Hz. available
Power Consumption [W] 20
Controller Weight [kg] 2.5
Head Weight [g] 105
Controller Dimensions [cm] 21W (1/2 rack mount) x 25D x 9H (2U)


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