Optimizing Methods of Experimental Data Collection in
Laboratory Animal Facilities
Lewis B. Kinter*, David K. Johnson & Nancy Fetrow
Nycomed Amersham Inc. and *Astra Merck Inc., Wayne, PA, USA
New opportunities for optimizing methods of experimental data collection
arise from new trends in the design of research animal facilities.
Traditionally, laboratory animal housing facilities focus their design to
meet the care, comfort, housing, and health of the animals. New trends
of design combine the above features with the added features and
functionalities for incorporating in-vivo laboratories within the research animal facility envelope. New challenges have emerged from the proliferation of
computer assisted data collection programs, sophisticated research
equipment, and technologies. In essence, the research animal envelope
must be 'electronically friendly', in addition to meeting the sensitive
environmental needs of a variety of animal species. Identifying conflicts
and solutions related to these optimized data collection systems and
assuring the optimal welfare of the animals are critical. In-life collection of
data for direct access to computers is now common. Telemetry studies
require environments conducive to radio frequency transmissions as
well as strategically placed conduits for computer cables and electrical
lines. These data collection technologies must be validated and
maintained to meet GLP compliance. Aspects for consideration include a
review of research equipment needs, computer requirements, telemetry
systems, communication ports, internal windows, one-way mirrors,
multi-purpose research laboratories, surgical suites, dual lighting,
temperature and humidity controls, and creative scheduling of research
animal needs and studies.
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