Skip to main content
09/12/2021

Vall d'Hebron develops a novel device to optimize preclinical studies with experimental animals

Multicolector-orina

09/12/2021

This new method, developed by the Nephrology and Renal Transplantation group of VHIR, will facilitate the collection of urine and feces samples from animals in biomedical research.

The Nephrology and Renal Transplantation research group of Vall d'Hebron Recerca has developed a device to facilitate the collection of urine and feces samples from animals, such as mice. This new method, developed by Pamela Domínguez Báez, Dr. María José Soler and Dr. Conxita Jacobs, researchers of the group, will be used to monitor the status of animals and to evaluate the results of experimental procedures, for example, in biomedical research, preclinical drug development, metabolic studies, etc. Currently, the device is in the industrialization phase and has been protected by a Utility Model that was granted in October 2021. The team is working on the technology transfer strategy of the device to identify a business partner with which to optimize the prototype, scale its production and bring it to market.

Until now, the collection of these samples in experimental animals is carried out using methods that are inefficient and stressful for the animal, such as abdominal massages or metabolic cages where urine is mixed with feces. In order to find an alternative, the researchers have created a new collector that allows the isolated collection of urine and feces for a quick and efficient analysis, which is also less invasive for the animal. "We reduce the animal's stress because we do not apply any external stimuli, we ensure animal welfare and, in addition, up to 10 times more urine volume can be obtained than with other techniques," the researchers say.

The size of the device can be adjusted to the dimensions of the animals for which it is to be used: rats, mice, hamsters, rabbits, goats, pigs... It also allows the option of using the same device for multiple animals arranged in different collectors, which, according to the creators of the invention, is positive because "we take advantage of the biological characteristic that, when animals are close to each other, when one of them urinates, the others tend to do so immediately afterwards as well and, therefore, we reduce the waiting time".

The device consists of a box inside which several sample collectors can be arranged that will serve for the separate reception of urine and feces to avoid cross-contamination.

Finally, work is underway to improve the prototype to include a series of components to detect relevant parameters to facilitate the research work, such as a liquid sensor that alerts when there is urine in the collector, a body temperature sensor, a substance detection and analysis system or an image capture device.

Related news

A study from the Vall d’Hebron Campus demonstrates that the Ex Vivo C5b-9 deposition test is useful for monitoring the activity of the complement system (CS) in patients with aHUS or transplant-associated TMA.

An international study involving the Hospital del Mar Research Institute and VHIR shows that there are substantial differences between men and women in the energy metabolism of of renal tubular cells.

Dr. Conxita Jacobs' research has been awarded in the clinical project category, while Dr. Anna Meseguer's research has been recognised in the basic research category.

Related professionals

Monica Bolufer Cardona

Monica Bolufer Cardona

Predoctoral researcher
Nephrology and kidney transplantation
Read more
Nikolaos-Andreas Anastasopoulos

Nikolaos-Andreas Anastasopoulos

Predoctoral researcher
Nephrology and kidney transplantation
Read more
Clàudia Carrera Muñoz

Clàudia Carrera Muñoz

Research technician
Nephrology and kidney transplantation
Read more
Mariona Juvé Torres

Mariona Juvé Torres

Research technician
Nephrology and kidney transplantation
Read more

Subscribe to our newsletters and be part of the Campus life

We are a world-leading healthcare complex where healthcare, research, teaching and innovation go hand in hand.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.