Measuring food intake in laboratory rodents can provide a vital indicator of general welfare, recovery from surgery, and is an important experimental parameter for metabolic studies. Currently, measurement of food intake requires either the mice to be removed from their cage for weighing or for them to be singly-housed in bespoke cages for the duration of the study. The ability to continuously monitor changes in food consumption and intervene before weight loss occurs will provide welfare benefits to thousands of mice used in research by allowing earlier intervention before significant suffering. Detailed feeding data will also increase the knowledge obtained from mouse models used in the study of obesity and metabolic diseases such as diabetes.To address this Challenge, the team for Research Devices Ltd aim to develop technology to monitor the food intake of socially housed mice. The technology will identify individual mice, quantify individual food intake, and will integrate into all types of racks and cages without the requirement for modifications.
Full details about this CRACK IT Challenge can be found on the CRACK IT website.
Through the Moshers Challenge, the team at Research Devices Ltd has developed a fully functioning monitoring system harnessing artificial intelligence and cameras retrofitted to home cage racks to visually identify and assess food intake in socially housed mice. Further information can be found on the Innovation Platform website.