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Alternative methods

14 - 06 - 2018

3Rs: measuring cardiac and respiratory activities without surgery

French researchers have developed sensors and a software that measure the cardiac and respiratory parameters without surgery in the awake rat.


The use of research animals often requires the collection of basic physiological parameters, particularly those concerning cardiac and respiratory activities.


Today the collection of these parameters on awake animals requires a prior heavy surgery for the installation of sensors in contact with the tissues of concern.


Such an intervention has an impact on the well-being of the animals that must recover after surgery even if the use of pain killers relieves the pain. It also has an impact on the research itself, which must have the skills and surgical means but also must take into account the stress and delays imposed by surgery.


Researchers have therefore worked on the development of a technique called "virtual flowmetering" which consists of calculating the flow of air or blood circulating in the rib cage from the variation of the thorax volume measured in ultra high resolution. by an external sensor. This technique requires the development of ultra-sensitive sensors and the creation of a software for processing the signals collected.




This method is now validated in rats as a wearable vest. This vest is placed on animals without the need for any anaesthetics or surgery. It will be marketed in a year. In the future researchers will develop this method for other species commonly used in research: guinea pigs, mini-pigs, dogs, primates.