MÍOS: Better Animal Care for Better Research
Millions of rodents are used in HHS research labs each year to both understand mechanisms of disease and develop new therapies. Monitoring the health of these animals is essential not only to ensure their general welfare but also to ensure that research studies produce quality and reproducible data.
Currently, trained specialists monitor the health of these animals with daily checks of each cage, a time consuming and expensive process. Additionally, frequent human interaction and environment changes are stress inducing factors for the rodents, potentially introducing variability into experimental designs. To address this challenge, a team from NIH and the FDA developed MÍOS, a scalable cloud-based system for continuous monitoring and real time reporting of the rodent home-cage environment and behavior. MÍOS uses wireless monitoring of water and food intake, amount of physical activity of the animal, and environmental factors in the cage (temperature, humidity, and light intensity) and sends the collected data in real time to the cloud-based storage where data can be transmitted to unlimited number of users anywhere in the World.
This project represents a novel effort to implement cost-effective improvement of animal welfare by utilizing off-the-shelve sensors and a highly customizable modular platform. MÍOS has the potential to accelerate the pace of research and enable new scientific discoveries. Thus, it will facilitate collaborations and may increase experimental reproducibility between research groups.
A project supported by the: HHS Ventures Fund