Demonstration – DOMEs: deep phenomics in the home cage

Presenter: Michael Florea, Olden Labs, PBC

Schedule: Thursday 16th May, 14:40 – 15:00 Meeting Room 5

Description:  Measuring health of lab animals directly in their home cage would substantially improve the quality and cost of health testing – but has been hampered by technical difficulties. We have engineered a new smart cage system (DOMEs) that uses 24/7 video tracking and AI analysis to simultaneously analyse multiple parameters of health of multiple co-housed animals in their home cage setting.

DOMEs are low-cost compact devices designed to fit into existing rodent racks, above existing cage bottoms. This allows existing Individually Ventilated Cage and cage washing infrastructure to continue to be used, reducing adoption barriers. Using near infrared cameras, microphones and AI, DOMEs individually track all animals in a group-housed setting, provide real-time data for 15 health metrics, analyze the cage condition and allow establishment of alerts.

Existing smart cages can only measure one animal at a time and are thus limited by throughput and measurement time (due to stress caused by prolonged single housing) or measure multiple animals while being limited to a few metrics (RFID-based systems). The DOME system overcomes these limitations by using camera-based measurement of multiple animals, allowing many metrics to be assessed, indefinitely. This enables continuous, high-definition data on the activity and behavior of animals – a slice of their “phenome”.

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