Device for housing small rodents at controlled environmental conditions

Device housing small rodents and / or biological material; it allows to achieve controlled environmental conditions.

Title of the patent Device for housing small rodents at controlled environmental conditions
Ownership Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, INFN - Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
Inventors Matteo Cerri, Ignazio Lax, Matteo Negrini, Maximiliano Sioli, Massimo Verdosci, Antonio Zoccoli
Protection Italy (opportunity for seeking patent protection internationally)
Licensing status Available for licensing agreements
Keywords Device, rodents, experiment, torpor, hibernation, small animals, thermoregulation
Filed on Nov 26, 2019

The study of hibernation is becoming increasingly widespread due to its potential medical applications. One of the obstacles that prevents many laboratories from taking this research path concerns the possibility to change the environmental temperature of experimental animals, which are often housed in large colonies or in facilities together with other animals. The use of single thermostated systems would speed up the diffusion of this research line.

The device houses small rodents and it allows setting up the ambient temperature together with other parameters such as brightness; it also allows you to customize thermal adaptation protocols and therefore speed up the experimental activity, optimizing it.

The device can be used for any type of study that requires precise control of the ambient temperature, both using animal models and cell cultures.

The main advantage is the possibility of housing individual rodents that enter into torpor-hibernation in single environments, thus allowing the experimenter to adjust the ambient temperature for each specimen. In fact, in many laboratories this activity today isn’t possible because the animals are housed in common facilities and it isn’t possible to adapt the environmental temperature of a single specimen without involving the entire colony.

Potential applications:

Lab experiments with rodents. Originally designed for laboratory use, it could also be used for pets with particular environmental needs (lethargy).

Advantages:

It allows studying hibernating animals without changing temperature in an entire colony / facility.

It has a light and temperature control system. It can be battery powered for use outside the laboratory.