Perspective review of optical imaging in welfare assessment in animal-based research
Pereira, Carina Barbosa ; Kunczik, Janosch ; Bleich, André ; Haeger, Christine ; Kiessling, Fabian ; Thum, Thomas ; Tolba, René ; Lindauer, Ute et al.
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/16502
To refine animal research, vital signs, activity, stress, and pain must be monitored. In chronic studies, some measures can be assessed using telemetry sensors. Although this methodology provides high-precision data, an initial surgery for device implantation is necessary, potentially leading to stress, wound infections, and restriction of motion. Recently, camera systems have been adapted for animal research. We give an overview of parameters that can be assessed using imaging in the visible, near-infrared, and thermal spectrum of light. It focuses on heart activity, respiration, oxygen saturation, and motion, as well as on wound analysis. For each parameter, we offer recommendations on the minimum technical requirements of appropriate systems, regions of interest, and light conditions, among others. In general, these systems demonstrate great performance. For heart and respiratory rate, the error was <4 beats / min and 5 breaths/min. Furthermore, the systems are capable of tracking animals during different behavioral tasks. Finally, studies indicate that inhomogeneous temperature distribution around wounds might be an indicator of (pending) infections. In sum, camera-based techniques have several applications in animal research. As vital parameters are currently only assessed in sedated animals, the next step should be the integration of these modalities in home-cage monitoring.