Mobile HomeCage trials

We get it: buying new equipment is risky. This is why we offer to test the Mobile HomeCage free of charge. However, we ask you to commit the time that is needed to reach the best possible outcome. Just how much time is required depends on the type of trial.

We offer two types of trials: fitting trials (less than 3 days) or animal trials (10 days). Animal trials require longer preparation: we ship the head plates separately, 3-5 weeks ahead of the trial to allow time for the surgery and recovery.

Fitting trial timeline

Trial timeline for Mobile HomeCage trialsAnimal trial timeline

Due to the electronic components shortages, we currently have only one standard-size Mobile HomeCage unit available for testing. We apologize for the temporary inconvenience – please follow the updates on this page for the availability status of other types of equipment. Thank you!

Please read the information below to learn what to expect and how to prepare for the trials.

We offer:

  • Free shipment to your trial location (in Europe or North America) and free return shipment. (At the moment, unfortunately, we cannot ship trial equipment to locations outside of Europe and North America);
  • Access to surgery tutorials (video) and handling/training recommendations;
  • Trial support (help with the animal procedures, software installation, and operation) via email, phone, or video conferencing before and during the trial. We do not normally visit the lab during the trial.

Mobile HomeCage Large trials (at the end of 2024)

Since making large carbon fiber cages is expensive, the Mobile HomeCage Large trial unit does not include a carbon fiber cage. Instead, we send the parts for assembling three foam cages or mazes.

Mobile HomeCage trials are temporarily suspended due to the components’ shortages.

We require:

  • A 1-page loan agreement (click on the link to view a sample Loan Agreement) – we shall email you the agreement as soon as we determine the trial’s dates and the trial unit’s composition;
  • For imaging trials, commitment to take measurements of experimental setup according to Neurotar’s instructions;
  • For animal trials, commitment to perform the surgeries and the training before the start of the trial (for chronic windows);
  • Permission to share your contact information with our logistics partner (DHL).

We do not allow testing of virally infected mice, nor placing the test equipment in a virus-handling facility (AAV viral injections are allowed).

Things to consider before the Mobile HomeCage trial:

  • Does your air source provide an airflow of 120 L/min at 2,9 psi? If not, we can recommend an alternative air source.
  • What head plate model would you use for surgeries? Read our guide to head plates to learn about different head plate models. If you need help, please tell us which part of the brain you want to access. What types of experiments do you have in mind (2p imaging, ephys recordings, fUS imaging)?
  • Acute or chronic preparations?
  • Is the Mobile HomeCage compatible with your set-up? If in doubt, please share the microscope’s maker and model or the type of micromanipulator that you plan to use. Do you plan to mount the manipulator on the Mobile HomeCage bridge or place it on the side? For Stoelting, Kopf, Luigs & Neumann, and Sensapex manipulators, we can either provide an adapter or put you in touch with the manipulator’s manufacturer that offers an adapter for the Mobile HomeCage. Read our guide to compatibility to learn how to integrate the Mobile HomeCage into your experimental setup.
  • What type of behavioral readouts do you wish to implement? We are happy to check whether these readouts can be implemented in the Mobile HomeCage and what types of accessories can be useful.
  • Does your PC satisfy the requirements for the locomotion tracking software? The requirements are: Processor: 4-core, 2015 or newer (desktop) or 4-core, 2018 or newer (laptop); RAM: 6 GB or more; OS: Windows 7 or Windows 10. Windows 10 Pro is recommended.

Before committing an equivalent of 1-5 work days to the trial, check what types of projects other labs have done in the Mobile HomeCage: