Submitted to: Laboratory Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2007
Publication Date: 7/30/2007
Citation: Hampsch, J., Peters, S., Mann, D., Guinn, R., Matthews, D.L., Kissinger, C., Marchant Forde, J.N., Poletto, R. 2007. Prototype Device for Computerized Blood Sampling and Data Collection in Freely Moving Swine. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. 46:138-139. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Collecting biofluid samples or physiological and behavioral data from animals presents challenges from excessive human intervention, and the stress of manual sampling. Our objective was to construct a device capable of protecting external leads and tubing used to facilitate automated sampling, dosing, and collection of physiological and behavioral data in freely moving swine. We constructed an octagonal, 1.2 m diameter pen with solid walls, plastic-coated perforated floor, self-contained feed trough and built-in water supply. The most important feature built into the pen was its clockwise and counter-clockwise rotational capabilities. A pig placed in the pen was fitted with a harness and connected via an umbilicus to a sensor array which controlled the pen movement so it rotated counter to any pig movement past pre-established settings. This resulted in the pig moving relative to the pen but remaining stationary relative to the exterior space. After testing this capability, a computerized instrument module for automated blood sampling was utilized to test both the pen platform and the ability to draw blood while keeping the sampling tubing untwisted and open. Instrument modules for preserving the blood samples, dosing, collecting physiological and behavioral data could also be added. Four Gottingen minipigs and 8 commercial feeder pigs (15-30 kg) with surgically implanted jugular catheters were tested for periods of up to 17 days, with 130 or more blood samples drawn without further handling of the animals. We observed no twisted or blocked tubing due to failure or malfunction of our device. Plasmas from blood samples were clear and non-hemolyized. We were able to protect tubing connected to a freely moving pig over an extended period of time, allowing for multiple, high-quality, automated blood samples to be taken without human intervention or physical manipulation of the pigs.