The Sensory and Motor Phenotyping Platform of INM is specialized in production and pre-clinical analysis of animal models, mainly murine, reproducing the major sensory and motor disorders that affect humans: blindness, deafness, tinnitus, dizziness, pain, and locomotor deficits.

The platform hosts the animal models of two INSERM units located at INM (844 and 1051) and the Institute for Research in Biotherapies (IRB).

It is composed of  both conventional and A2 sectors and aims at:
1. Exploring visual, auditory and somatosensory functions as well as locomotor systems
2 . Developing cell and gene therapy protocols in pre-clinical trials.

The platform is part of the Network of Animal Facilities of Montpellier (RAM) which participates to the activity of Biocampus. As such, it is open to all academic and private scientific community to host animal models and allow the characterization of their sensory and motor skills.
All projects must be submitted to the engineer in charge of the research board. If the project comes from external teams to the INM, it must also be approved by the steering committee of the platform.


EQUIPMENT and RESOURCES


The platform provides behavioral (proprioception, locomotion, vision, hearing, balance) and electrophysiological (vision, hearing) non-invasive analysis systems.

LOCOMOTION

 

Catwalk® 

catwalk

catwalk2

Catwalk® (Noldus Information Technology) allows to measure locomotor deficits due to various pathologies (joint diseases, pain, neurodegenerative disorders) through the analysis of paw prints during spontaneous locomotion.

 

Automated actimeter

Automated Actimeter

 

The automated actimeter (Bioseb) measures the overall locomotor activity (activity, rest, distance traveled) in a closed arena scanned by infra-red beams.

 

 

Automated videotracking

videotracking

 

Ethovision® (Noldus Information Technology) analyses the overall locomotor activity of animals based on video recordings. It completes and deepens the data acquired with automated actimeter.

 

 

 

 

Rotarod 

Rotarod

 

The rotarod (Bioseb) measures the capacity of animals to stay in balance on a rotating cylinder. It is used to phenotype balance, proprioception and locomotor system.



 

 

 

 

Treadmill 

 Treadmill

 tapis roulant2

The treadmills (1 and 5 lanes, Bioseb) are designed to train mice to physical exercise. They can be coupled with other tests to detect locomotor deficits or fatigue.

 

 

Grip test

agrippement

 

The grip test (Bioseb) measures muscular strength of animals grasping on a metal grid. It is used to phenotype neuromuscular functions.

 

 

 

 

OSTEO-ARTICULAR DEFICITS

Microscanner

microscanner1microscanner2

 

The microscanner SkyScann 1196® (Brucker) allows to perform longitudinal studies of bone and cartilage structures in rodents. It belongs to national platform ECELL France, localized at IRMB. Any project using microscanner needs a preliminary contract or order between user and ECELL France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SENSITIVITY

Dynamic plantar analgesia and Von Frey

Plantar Analgesia

 

 

Dynamic plantar analgesia (IITC Life Sciences) and dynamic Von Frey (Bioseb) respectively allow to measure sensitivity to mechanical or thermal stimuli. They are widely used in projects dealing with pain and analgesia following therapeutic treatments.

Thermal Gradient

Thermal Gradient

 

The thermal gradient (Bioseb) measures the comfort temperature of animals, free to move on a metal floor from 5 to 55°C. It is used to phenotype sensitivity and pain.

 

Static weight bearing

Static Weight Balance

 

The static weight bearing test (Bioseb) investigates postural imbalance by measuring the difference in left and right paw pressures. It is useful to phenotype sensitivity and pain in hind limbs.

 

 

 

 

Randall-Sellito

randall

 

This test (Bioseb) measures the rat sensitivity to mechanical paw pressure on hind paws. It is used to test analgesia following therapeutic treatments.

 

 

Conditioned Place Preference (CPP)

préférence de place

 

CPP (Bioseb), coupled to Ethovision® videotracking system, measures spatial place preference or aversion following conditioned stimulus.

 

 


VISION

 
Optometry

Optokinetic Test

 

This test (CerebralMechanics Inc.) assesses visual acuity by measuring the ability of mice to visually follow-up vertical bars in motion.

 

Optical Coherence Tomography

OCT

 

 

This tomography imaging system (Leica) allows to visualize and measure the thickness of the various retina cell layers to monitor injury or recovery over time.

 

 

Retinal imaging microscope

micronIII


The Micron III microscope (Phoenix Research Laboratories) allows to image retina and blood vessels (bright field and fluorescence).

 

 

Electroretinograpy

ERG grand

 

The electroretinogram (SIEM Bio-Médicale) measures the electrical activity of optic nerve and retinal cells (ganglion and bipolar cells, cones and rods).

 

 

HEARING

 

Electrophysiology

Anechoic Chamber 1

Electrophysiological set ups allow to measure auditory evoked potentials, electrical activity of inner and outer hair cells and otoacoustic emissions. An anechoic chamber is used to isolate animals from surrounding noise.

 

 

 

 


Startle response

sursaut

 

This test is used to study the animal's startle reaction to sound stimulation. It allows to discriminate tinnitus or hearing loss in surrounding noise.

 

 

 

BIOLUMINESCENCE IMAGING


CCD Camera

LCD

 

This equipment (Berthold) is used to detect bioluminescence in vivo. It allows to monitor the expression of reporter genes in tissues or tumor development.

 

 

 

 

CONTACT

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