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Latest innovation from Bioseb R&D Team, this ground-breaking tool allows qualitative and quantitative measures of rodent motor-coordination, with an automated recognition of paw misplacement. Especially recommended for your research on Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain or spinal cord injury, myopathies, etc.

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The Ladder test is commonly use to assess the walking capability of mice and rats, and their motor-function in using both forelimbs and hindlimbs in a coordinate pattern. Applications in the neurodegenerative studies, as well as Spinal cord injury and ischemia/stroke models are increasing. To improve treatment efficacy, Research labs are in need of accurate systems to measure precisely loss/improvement in movement capacity during recovery or model degeneration.

With the Automatic BIO-LADDERTEST, Bioseb now offers the perfect tool to measure rodent walking skills in an automatic way! Based on our existing Foot-Misplacement Apparatus, the Automatic Ladder test comes with an easy-to-use software, combined with a Video tracking camera, and a comfortable elevated frame

Operating principles

The horizontal ladder test consists of side walls of clear Plexiglas and plastic rungs which are inserted with a regular spacing to create a floor. The ladder is then placed inside an opaque corridor, which minimize animal’s stress. At the beginning of the test, the animal is placed in a starting chamber at one’s corridor end : an aversive blinking light reinforcement motivates it leaving the chamber and crossing the corridor until a refuge (dark chamber). Animals with skilled motor functions will place its paws on each rod, while subject with skilled motor impairment will misplace its limbs, scored as foot faults.

Bioseb’s horizontal ladder can be provided in 2 sizes, mice or rat : height’s wall and rod diameter are designed for each species. The universal corridor suits both ladder sizes: the width of the alley can be adjusted to the animal size, in order to prevent animal from turning around.

The ladder is provided with a regular rung pattern. But some rungs can be removed in order to create an irregular pattern. Thus avoiding training bias, increase the difficulty of the trail (traps) or assess memory, learning, etc.

Latest Bioseb’s development offers an elevated frame, to locate the corridor in a comfortable height and facilitates the experimenter’s operation. The frame allows one home-cage and a computer at each corridors side. The frame is delivered in its crate, assembled and easy to un-fold.

Each animal’s run along the ladder, its duration and the foot faults are registered thanks to high-speed camera, located from below the corridor, filming the animal’s bottom’s view.

Finally, the system is equipped with LED-lights along the frame: this is not uncomfortable for the animal and helps recognizing the foot faults. The test can then be performed in dark conditions. The latest development from Bioseb stands in the BIO-LADDSOFT software: Thanks to its analysis and video-tracking, the Ladder test is now Automatic!

Bioseb's Automatic Ladder test for rats and mice: screenshot of the video analysis software for paw misplacement on a ladder
Bioseb's Automatic Ladder test for rats and mice:
screenshot of the video analysis software
for paw misplacement on a ladder
Dedicated Software

Bioseb R&D team is proud to announce that The Ladder test is now fully Automatic ! The animal is tracked from below thanks to Video camera. The software records each run and the experiment management: groups, trials per animal, etc.

With its innovating Analyze Mode, the elaborated software algorithm embeds video tracking and allows the automatic recognition of valid runs for each animal, misplacement faults, and misplaced rung.

The results can be exported to an Excel sheet for further analysis.

Parameters measured

• Run duration : time needed to cross the entire length of the ladder
• Automatic recognition of run validity : excluding all runs with stops, or back & forward movements
• Number of forelimbs misplacement
• Rung’s location of forelimbs misplacement
• Number of hind limbs misplacement
• Rung’s location of hind limbs misplacement
• Average results are given for each animal and group

Coming soon - Work in progress

• Automatic recognition of left/right paw faults
• Type of foot misplacement: slight/deep fall after limb missed the rung, limb replacement, partial placement (digits, heel), correct placement, etc.
• Number of error for each limb and average/animal
• Number of steps

Key Features

• Fully automatic
• Requires no-or-minimal animal training
• Plug & Play apparatus, minimum settings operations
• Rat & mice ladder size on the same device
• Video Replay Mode for each run

Domains of Application

• Cortical stroke
• Recovery from Brain or Spinal Cord injury
• Neurodegenerative diseases
• Motor-system lesion
• Aging
• Parkinson
• Myopathy

Automatic Ladder Test (Modif.)
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Phone worldwide : +33 442 344 360 - USA/Canada : (727) 521-1808
e-Mail : Worldwide: info@bioseb.com - USA/Canada: sales@eb-instruments.com