In 1995, Christopher Reeve, best known for playing Superman in movies, was injured in a horse-riding accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Kinematics helped him regain some of his mobility by understanding his body’s motions and providing customized solutions for his rehabilitation. Through this example, we can see how kinematics can empower people with disabilities to live life more independently.
Kinematics is a field of study that focuses on the motion of objects without considering the forces that cause them to move. Kinematic analysis empowers us to understand the movement of objects by studying the type and number of body points during the motion.
When it comes to gait analysis, more than the traditional footprint analysis is required. Fine kinematic analysis of all body parts is the way to go if you want accurate and detailed information about your animal’s movement. This method can measure everything from foot position and velocity to joint angles and forces. In other words, fine kinematic analysis gives you a more comprehensive understanding of how your animal moves. So, if you want a more precise experience of your animal’s gait, then the fine kinematic analysis is the best way to go!
MotoRater is a powerful tool that enables preclinical researchers to measure and analyze rodent locomotor behavior accurately.
It is the most sensitive apparatus for rodent locomotor phenotyping, which allows fine kinematic gait analysis during four different movement modalities:
- Skilled ladder walking
MotoRater offers an intuitive interface with customizable settings to help researchers easily collect data and analyze it:
A high-speed camera observes the animal from three sides simultaneously and provides explicit readouts for targeted body parts, i.e., limbs, joints, tail, position head, etc. (virtually unlimited number of parameters) making this a comparative translational apparatus for disease study in humans.
The data collected by the MotoRater can be used to evaluate neurological disorders, drug efficacy, and other behavioral changes in rodents. It also allows researchers to identify any potential side effects of drugs or treatments.
With its advanced technology, MotoRater provides reliable results that can help preclinical researchers make informed decisions about their research projects:
The group of Roger Nitsch at the University of Zürich used the MotoRater to characterize 3 animal models: muscle atrophy due to motor neuron loss in SOD1 G93A transgenic mice, huntington N171-82Q mice modelling Huntington’s disease and Harlequin mutant mice modelling cerebellar degeneration. Based on precise computerized motion tracking of all relevant joints and the tail, the authors generated individual and comprehensive locomotor profiles consisting of 164 spatial and temporal parameters. Gait changes observed in the three models corresponded closely to the classical clinical symptoms described in these disorders: Muscle atrophy due to motor neuron loss in SOD1 G93A transgenic mice led to gait characterized by changes in hind-limb movement and positioning. In contrast, locomotion in huntington N171-82Q mice modelling Huntington’s disease with basal ganglia damage was defined by hyperkinetic limb movements and rigidity of the trunk. Harlequin mutant mice modelling cerebellar degeneration showed gait instability and extensive changes in limb positioning. Moreover, model specific gait parameters were identified and were shown to be much more sensitive than conventional motor tests. Using SOD1 G93A transgenic mice for an extensive longitudinal approach the authors reported that a wide range of MotoRater gait parameters showed group differences starting at Postnatal Day 30 while the earliest differences detected by the conventional test battery were found at Postnatal Day 81 (Rotarod).