INTELLIMAZE - High-throughput, fully automated and cost-effective behavioural phenotyping of normal, clinical and genetic mouse models 

Time period:
2006-11-01 - 2009-10-31
Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP)

Behavioural change is the most sensitive biological end-point signalling any alteration in the organism of a mouse. However, large-scale bio-assays of behaviour face limitations: outdated technology, need for space and specialized manpower, lack of standardisation, and increasing legal demands on animal husbandry. This has limited the use of behavioural methods to specialised laboratories, limiting the market as well. In order to advance scientific progress and expand the market, 2 SME's and 1 academic partner will combine their existing expertise and products for behavioural phenotyping to generate a compact modular system, INTELLIMAZE. This system should fit into a single small mouse room, where it will - Assess home cage activity and learning of transponder-tagged mice living in social groups - Analyse automatically social behaviour - Guide individual mice to a battery of traditionally used tests - Show ongoing learning on-line to a supervisor working in his office - Analyse data according to expert knowledge-based rules - Provide a web-based analysis of results for user groups. The bottleneck of such technological development is functional validation and comparison with traditional tests. Three academic partners will use the novel technology for a) generating new mouse models of depression, b) profiling malfunctions of specific brain systems, and c) monitoring the effects of age-dependent neurodegeneration in existing and new mouse models. Finally, an SME partner in need of efficient behavioural phenotyping will validate the novel systems for drug discovery and development. We expect that the availability of simplified, rapid and thorough behavioural testing of mice without need for specialized personnel will open new and larger markets for the SME's. Moreover we predict significant scientific discoveries in the fields of drug development, psychopharmacology, neurodegeneration, neural plasticity and repair, and genetic engineering.

Russian Federation
Last updated on 2011-08-18 at 19:12