Voluntary Running Wheels

Turn Your Research Around!

Wheel running is widely used to assess voluntary physical activity in rodents. It is ideally suited to study circadian activity. Running wheels might also serve as environmental enrichment  to improve animal welfare during long-term experiments

TSE Running Wheels for rats and mice are suspended from the home cage lid, leaving maximum living space for the animal and allowing combination with ActiMot3 frames for a comprehensive evaluation of the total activity.

The optional Motor Skill drum features removable rods to create an irregular rod pattern. This complex wheel has been proven to be a powerful new tool to detect motor deficits much earlier as compared to standard tests such as the RotaRod.

Use the Enable/Disable function to control access to wheel running by time and distance – or by taking any other parameter measured with PhenoMaster components such as bodyweight or food consumption into account. Couple the wheels to Operant Walls to use wheel running as reinforcement or as a prerequisite to earn food reward.

When combined with TSE PhenoMaster Indirect Calorimetry or Food intake modules wheel activity can be easily synchronized with metabolic parameters. For advanced cardiometabolic studies, we offer our new Workload wheels with adjustable resistance – evaluate the effect of different mechanical loads on exercise, muscle physiology, and metabolism.

Rotation is detected with 90° resolution, left & right rotations are discriminated. The stainless drum can be easily detached from the motor drive and is autoclavable.

In Het Panhuis W, Kooijman S, Brouwers B, Verhoeven A, Pronk ACM, Streefland TCM, Giera M, Schrauwen P, Rensen PCN, Schönke M. Mild Exercise Does Not Prevent Atherosclerosis in APOE*3-Leiden.CETP Mice or Improve Lipoprotein Profile of Men with Obesity. Obesity 2020; Suppl 1: S93-S103.

Masschelein E, D'Hulst G, Zvick J, Hinte L, Soro-Arnaiz I, Gorski T, von Meyenn F, Bar-Nur O, De Bock K. Exercise promotes satellite cell contribution to myofibers in a load-dependent manner. Skelet Muscle 2020; 10(1): 21.

Wakhloo D, Scharkowski F, Curto Y, Javed Butt U, Bansal V, Steixner-Kumar AA, Wüstefeld L, Rajput A, Arinrad S, Zillmann MR, Seelbach A, Hassouna I, Schneider K, Qadir Ibrahim A, Werner HB, Martens H, Miskowiak K, Wojcik SM, Bonn S, Nacher J, Nave KA, Ehrenreich H. Functional hypoxia drives neuroplasticity and neurogenesis via brain erythropoietin. Nat Commun 2020; 11(1):1313.

Wupper S, Fischer A, Luersen K, Ipharraguerre IR, Chikamoto K, Furune T, Ishida Y, Terao K, Rimbach G. Effects of dietary gamma-cyclodextrin on voluntary activity and muscle strength in mice. J Physiol Pharmacol 2020; 71(3). Epub 2020 Sep 26.

D'Hulst G, Palmer AS, Masschelein E, Bar-Nur O, De Bock K. Voluntary Resistance Running as a Model to Induce mTOR Activation in Mouse Skeletal Muscle. Front Physiol 2019; 10: 1271.

Mandillo S, Heise I, Garbugino L, Tocchini-Valentini GP, Giuliani A, Wells S, Nolan PM. Early motor deficits in mouse disease models are reliably uncovered using an automated home-cage wheel-running system: a cross-laboratory validation. Dis Model Mech 2014; 7(3): 397-407


Measure circadian activity.
Enrichment – increase animal welfare.
Control access by time, distance run or operant performance.
Synchronize wheel data with metabolic parameters.
Workload option – study motivation & muscle physiology.
Complex wheel – evaluate fine motor skills.


Spontaneous Activity.
Circadian Rhythm.
Exercise & Endurance.
Motor Skill Function.
Operant Learning.

Disease models

Obesity & Diabetes..
Multiple Sclerosis.

Module of