In recent times, some ﬁelds of scientiﬁc research such as Pharmacology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or Neurosciences started to use diﬀerent new technology concepts in order to obtain a useful data ﬂow from experiments. These could be, for example, the use of ”smart devices” that have some particular ability such as identiﬁcation, interconnection, localization, data processing and external communication. Essentially a ”smart device” is an electronic system with several sensors onboard that could interact with the research target and transmit processed or raw data to a ”master” device, such as a PC or another ”smart device”. Another useful concept is expressed with the term ”Big Data”. This could be described by a set of technologies and methods of analysis of huge amount of data, in order to discover links between diﬀerent phenomena and predict future ones. New algorithmic methods are used to predict a speciﬁc event. They are represented by new statistical processes to perform identiﬁcation of patterns within data in order to obtain an adaptive algorithm for that kind of data. Obtaining this level of quality from scientiﬁc research is very important, especially when precise data from each animal subject inside its home-cage are required. Regarding, for example, the study of a particular disease or a pathological condition. Furthermore, in some ﬁelds, it is important to achieve also a sort of standardization of data to increase links and exchange of ideas between diﬀerents research labs around the world. It is also important, for a scientiﬁc center, that the new introduced device is low cost, given its home-cage compatibility, and the software used is user friendly and open source. Obviously, all these methods are extremely useful for a researcher, but they should be also more ethical for animals compared to those currently used. When we are talking about high-throughput analysis for animal research used in pharmacological studies or in neurosciences, we are talking about less stressful experiments for the animal, particularly for rodents such as mice and rats. More ethics in animal research also falls within the fulﬁllment of the 3Rs. The principles of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Reﬁnement) were developed over 50 years ago providing a framework for performing more humane animal research. This means increasing value and decreasing waste in experimental research. From this point of view, it is important to maximize the number of data collected directly inside the home-cages in order to have a sort of medical records for each animal used. Each one provided with a registration code. Rodents are also very susceptible to changes in what they recognize as their habitat and, for this reason, a new environment could introduce states of anxiety or stress. So, usually, to perform an experiment outside their cages they need an habituation period in which the researcher must wait for some time. Introduction of anxiety or stress could mess up all the useful data, especially in studies regarding drug addiction where stress and anxiety are two meaningful parameters. Abstract In the ﬁrst chapter I will introduce the concept of high-throughput analysis methods about animal research and how they can improve extrapolation of scientiﬁc information from data through connected ’smart devices’. Then I will discuss about the 3Rs regarding animal welfare and how they will change animal research approaches through new environments and monitoring devices. Until the ’CRACK IT’ Challenge established by the NC3R in order to push the market in this direction. The second chapter will describe my work on the development of a liquid level sensor that is able to monitor daily water intake directly inside an home-cage in conformity with the 3Rs tenets, allowing also scientiﬁc valuable data from water consumption and animal lickings behavior. This work has culminated in a patent application in collaboration with AM Microsystems. In the third chapter I am going to discuss about my work done for Tecniplast. It concerns data acquisition, data analysis and validation tests on their products and prototypes soon available on the market, not only for research centers but also for breeders that want to add more informations on their phenotypic strains models. In the fourth chapter I will explain how optogenetics works highlighting the main features of this new available technique in neuroscience. I will describe the need for a wireless optogenetics device explaining my work and the results obtained on this purpose.
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|Titolo:||Novel Devices for High-Throughput Analysis in Animal Research|
|Data di pubblicazione:||21-mar-2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato|