In Vivo Assessment of Visual Performance in Mice

The unique OptoDrum device for automated in vivo assessment of visual performance in mice and rats offers unmatched capabilities for vision researchers.

By leveraging an optomotor reflex method, the OptoDrum delivers a fully automated, fast and objective assessment of visual acuity and contrast sensitivity in rodents. This innovative technology represents a substantial leap forward from conventional methodologies, establishing the OptoDrum as an essential instrument in the realm of visual neuroscience research, preclinical studies and drug discovery.

Innovative Device for Automated In Vivo Assessment of Visual Performance in Mice

The OptoDrum system by Striatech is a groundbreaking device that offers a reliable and objective way to assess the visual capabilities of mice and rats. It stands out for its automation, speed, and non-invasive approach to measuring visual acuity and contrast sensitivity in vivo.

Its innovative design bypasses traditional labour-intensive visual assessment methods and streamlines the process of detecting visual dysfunction and monitoring disease progression in rodent models. By harnessing the optomotor reflex, the OptoDrum ensures rapid and unbiased evaluations, making it an essential tool for various preclinical research fields such as ophthalmology, pharmacology, disease modeling, toxicology and phenotyping.

The OptoDrum system and its accompanying software eliminate the need for training laboratory animals, and the automation doesn’t require highly trained staff, leading to significant reductions in time and resources. This efficiency is vital in the fast-paced and resource-demanding drug discovery sector.

Automated Visual Performance Assessment

By automating the measurement of visual acuity and contrast sensitivity in mice and rats, the OptoDrum system significantly accelerates in vivo preclinical research while ensuring consistent, objective and reproducible outcomes. The OptoDrum system places the animal on an elevated platform surrounded by computer monitors. This setup enables the system to automatically identify and track the animal, minimising the need for manual intervention. The OptoDrum’s user-friendly and sturdy design allows out-of-the-box use and delivers results without set-up delays. 

system assesses the visual acuity and contrast sensitivity of rodents
The OptoDrum system assesses the visual acuity and contrast sensitivity of rodents by eliciting the optomotor reflex. The animal is placed on an elevated platform (1) in the arena with a rotating stripe pattern on surrounding screens (2). A camera observes the animal’s behaviour (3), which is analysed automatically (4). Stimulus pattern adjustments are automated and continue till the animal’s vision threshold is met (5).

This seamless process streamlines data collection, minimises human error, and ensures consistency across experiments. Additionally, the OptoDrum dynamically adapts the visual stimuli to optimise the assessment. Researchers can rely on this intelligent adjustment to maintain optimal testing conditions. Whether researchers require full control over the testing protocol or complete automation, OptoDrum’s intuitive software guides them through the measurements. It determines the animal’s visual threshold automatically, providing fast, objective, and bias-free results. This level of automated analysis is transforming visual function research.

Non-invasive In Vivo Assessment of Visual Performance

In contrast to the established behavioural and electrophysiological techniques, which often involve lengthy methodologies or invasive surgeries, the optomotor reflex method facilitated by the OptoDrum device offers a non-invasive, fast, streamlined and harmless alternative to assessing visual performance in rodents. With the OptoDrum researchers can conveniently observe the corresponding behaviour of mice and rats without fixation or surgery. Its non-invasive nature and automation ability allow frequent testing of subjects, even daily, and is optimal for longitudinal studies, whilst also providing more efficient and reproducible measurements of visual parameters.

A New Benchmark in Ophthalmology Research

The OptoDrum has set a new benchmark in ophthalmology research. In the realm of ophthalmic drug development, it plays a pivotal role in monitoring disease progression, evaluating the efficacy of new treatments (including stem cells, optogenetics, and neuroprotective strategies), and screening for potential side effects.

This innovative device accelerates research and advances the treatment of visual disorders, making it a cornerstone in the field of ophthalmic research. Its ability to provide standardised, reproducible data contributes to the acceleration of ophthalmic research and the development of new therapies for visual disorders. As such, the OptoDrum is not just a tool but a gateway to new possibilities in the treatment and understanding of eye diseases.

Advancing Vision Research and Pharmaceutical Testing

Striatech’s OptoDrum system offers a comprehensive suite of applications in visual neuroscience. These applications make OptoDrum an important aid for the early stages of drug development, where it can save significant time and resources. The OptoDrum is invaluable for researchers aiming to screen for visual dysfunction, evaluate treatment options, and monitor the effects of pharmaceuticals on visual health. The versatility of this system shines across various research domains, supporting research in ophthalmology, pharmacology, disease models, toxicology, and phenotyping.

In ophthalmology, the OptoDrum is instrumental in measuring visual abilities, tracking retinal degeneration, and evaluating new treatment options and optogenetics. For pharmacology, it serves as an efficient method for efficacy and safety testing of novel ophthalmic drugs and screening for side effects of new compounds. Disease models benefit from OptoDrum’s ability to track disease progression in conditions like retinal degeneration, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, stroke, diabetes and ageing. In toxicology, it is a valuable tool for vision defect screening and testing the effects of environmental stress and neurotoxic substances. In phenotyping, the device supports the characterisation of new genetic lines and screening for visual dysfunctions. With the addition of the ScotopicKit, an accessory for the OptoDrum, researchers can conduct optomotor testing in dark-adapted animals, crucial for understanding rod photoreceptor functions and night vision.

The unique capabilities and versatility of the OptoDrum device, are proving to be indispensable for the development of treatments for visual disorders. The system serves as a valuable addition to preclinical research facilities across the world, by enhancing the objectivity and comparability of data collected across various studies.

Assessment of Visual Performance in Mice

OptoDrum Device Features

  • Fully automated visual performance measurement
  • Objective and fast in vivo assessment
  • Non-invasive – No fixation or surgery required
  • Supports numerous preclinical research applications
  • Cost-saving and effective
  • Easy set-up, handling and maintenance
  • User-friendly software package included
  • Two versions available: OptoDrum Standard for mice and OptoDrumPLUS for mice as well as rats

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