Focus on novel approaches: Home-cage monitoring of laboratory mice


  • Aleksandra Bartelik
  • Maša Čater
  • Özge Selin Cevik
  • Nuno Henrique Franco
  • Vootele Voikar



Assessment of behavioural phenotype is crucial for the evaluation of various disease models, particularly in
laboratory rodents. Traditionally, this includes performing a variety of conventional tests where animals are
removed from their home-cages and placed in behavioural test apparatuses. This approach can be affected by
micro-environmental stress (removal from cage, handling, moving to an unfamiliar setting, and the test itself)
and other biases by capturing animals’ responses in a short time-window and potentially missing subtle or circadian
effects. Overall, serious concerns have been expressed regarding the validity and reliability of such measurements.
To address some of these concerns, researchers are increasingly resorting to automated home-cage monitoring
(HCM) technologies, which allow continuous recording of behavioural and physiological parameters of
undisturbed animals. In 2021, a pan-European network of researchers started the 4-year COST Action “Improving
biomedical research by automated behaviour monitoring in the animal home-cage” (CA20135 TEATIME, For this project, experts from different fields joined forces to critically assess the
potential of available technologies, to develop guidelines and identify where further technological development is
needed, including analysis of big data. The opportunities opened by HCM for daily health and welfare monitoring
of laboratory mice in a contactless, stress-free, and continuous fashion are also being explored. We provide
a short overview of the progress made by the Action during the first year and a half (presentation available at


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How to Cite

Bartelik, A., Čater, M., Cevik, Özge S., Franco, N. H., & Voikar, V. (2024). Focus on novel approaches: Home-cage monitoring of laboratory mice. Scandinavian Journal of Laboratory Animal Science, 50, 1–5.