Balance Beam

Conduct Science/Maze Engineers

The balance beam is a narrow ‘walking bridge’ for mice to walk across to test balance and coordination. The beam sits between two elevated platforms, one of which is a covered end box that the mice are enticed to travel towards. Interchangeable beams (6, 12, 24, and 48mm) can be used in thinner and thinner intervals to manipulate the difficulty of the task, and the beam can be placed at an incline/decline if so desired. Latency to cross the center 80cm of the beam and the number of hind limb foot-slips are recorded for each mouse.


Mouse Specifics, Inc.

The DigiGait uses ventral plane videography instrumentation for gait analysis in laboratory animals. Ventral Plane Imaging (VPI) Technology continuously images the underside of the animals walking atop of the patented motorized transparent treadmill belt, generating “digital paw prints” and dynamic gait signals. These dynamic gait signals, generated for each of the 4 limbs, describe the posture and kinematics of the animals that reflect strength, balance, and coordination. The DigiGait can be used to record voluntary and treadmill walking over a range of walking and running speeds. Gait analysis is then performed reporting over 30 metrics of posture and locomotion. 

Grip Strength (Force Meter)

Harvard Apparatus

The grip strength meter allows the study of neuromuscular functions in rodents by determining the maximum force displayed by an animal. Different attachments and protocols allow for the measurement of grip strength from different limbs. As grip strength is measured in gram force units, grip strength as a measurement can be normalized to each animals body weight (in grams). 


IITC Life Science

The Rotarod test is used to assess motor function (balance, endurance, grip strength, and motor coordination). Mice are placed on an elevated, rotating rod. Latency to fall is recorded for each mouse and used as a measure of motor function. The rod can either be made to rotate at a fixed speed or made to accelerate over time/trials. 

For Open Field, please see the "Anxiety & Stress" section and for Activity Monitoring, please see the "Long-Term Recording" section.