Life Science





Comprehensive Lab Animal Monitoring System allows 24-hour, automated, non-invasive collection of several physiological and behavioral parameters

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Columbus Instruments Comprehensive Lab Animal Monitoring System CLAMS is the premiere system of its kind. Incorporating sub-systems for open circuit calorimetry, activity, body mass, feeding, drinking, food access control, running wheel, urine collection, sleep detection, body core temperature and heart rate in an optional environmental chamber: Oxymax/CLAMS is the one-test solution for simultaneous multi parameter assessment of 1 to 32 test animals. Oxymax/CLAMS is constructed on a semi-custom basis incorporating parameters and features specific to your research. Any system can be expanded by way of more chambers and/or features at any time.Operation of Oxymax/CLAMS and data collection is performed by an integrated program. The resulting secure data sets can be exported to Comma Separated Value (CSV) files and provide the link between Oxymax/CLAMS and your existing data analysis tools. Additional data reduction tools allow for the de-collating of data by parameter to facilitate analysis from a parameter perspective. All data can be reviewed graphically & numerically in real-time during collection. Oxymax/CLAMS provides fully automated operation for experiments lasting up to three days. Food and water may be replenished during experiment execution without the need for system restart.

Features / Specifications

Oxymax Calorimetric Assessment

Columbus Instruments Oxymax system is the leading open circuit indirect calorimeter for lab animal research. Heat is derived by assessment of the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide that occurs during the metabolic process. The relationship between the volume of gas consumed (oxygen) and of that produced (carbon dioxide) reveals the energy content of the foodstuff utilized by the subject. This 'calorific value' is then applied to the volume of gases exchanged to compute heat.

Oxymax Sensor Technologies:

  • Paramagnetic O2 Sensor - Included as standard, measurement range is 0-100% with a response time of 90 seconds per cage.
  • Zirconia O2 Sensor - Part of the "High Speed Sensing Option", measurement range is 0-100% and when coupled with our dual tube High Speed Gas Dryer, response time is 20 seconds per cage. Multiple High Speed Sensor sets can be connected to the system to allow 2 or more cages to be measured simultaneously.

Food Intake Monitoring

Oxymax/CLAMS monitors the cumulative amount of food eaten as well as the amount eaten in each bout with the use of a Mettler Toledo balance with a resolution of 0.01g. Feeders are designed to account for spillage of food and to prevent foraging, a combination which provides the most accurate food intake monitor on the market.

Food Access Control

Access to food can be placed under automatic computerized control. A pneumatic driven shield prevents access to the food and can be controlled by times intervals and/or by mass of food. Additionally, this option also includes paradigms for Yolked or Paired feeding.


Standard Cages

The basic animal cage providing a sealed environment suitable for measuring Oxygen consumption and Carbon Dioxide production.

Center Feeder Cages

The Center Feeder Cage maintains the same sealed environment but adds a feeder to the center of the cage to allow food intake measurements. The Center Feeder is the most popular and universal in application, supporting all subject body types from lean to obese. An adjustable food guard allows mechanical fine tuning of food access to minimize foraging.

End Feeder Cages

The End Feeder Cage maintains the same sealed environment but adds an external feeder to the side of the cage to allow food intake measurements. The End Feeder provides more floor space for active subjects. Not suitable for Obese animal models. Not compatible with Y axis activity monitoring.

Corner Feeder Cages

The Corner Feeder Cage maintains the same sealed environment but adds an external feeder to the corner of the cage to allow food intake measurements and placement of a Y axis activity sensor. The End Feeder provides more floor space for active subjects. Not suitable for Obese animal models.

Over Head Feeder Cages

The Over Head Feeder is an adaptation of our popular center feeder that places the food in a location more familiar to the subjects. It does not account for spillage or foraging.

Double Feeder Cages

The Double Feeder Cage supports two feeders with food intake monitoring for diet preference experiments. Shown with optional activity sensors.

Drinking Volume

Volume monitoring is implemented with Columbus Instruments patented (Pat: #6,463,879) Volumetric Drinking Monitor [VDM] system. In this design, what appears outwardly to be a standard sipper tube is presented to the animal. Internal to the tube is a second, electrically isolated, water delivery tube.

Drinking Licks

Lick detection is implemented on the standard conductivity principle where a small, imperceptible current passes through the animal from the sipper tube to a conductive floor. Each contact with the sipper tube accrues one count. Oxymax/CLAMS tabulates this figure for each measurement interval.

Animal Activity

Oxymax/CLAMS may be configured with single, dual or triple axis detection of animal motion using IR photocell technology. Interruption of an IR beam will accrue one "count". Coverage in a single plane may be implemented with IR photocells located in the X or XY direction. The height of these beams is such that they intersect the animal midway vertically. Placement of IR photocells at a height above the animal detect rearing or jumping (Z-axis). Systems may be configured for X, XY, XZ or XYZ coverage.

Sleeping Bouts

The photocell activity monitor can now be employed in the detection of sleeping bouts. The criteria used is the length of time with no (or minimum) movement. The user has control over the length of the epoch, and amount of movement that qualifies the epoch as asleep or awake.


Oxymax/CLAMS supports the monitoring of body core temperature and heart rate by way of an implanted transmitter. Suitable for both rats and mice, the transmitters require no internal power source. An external field is generated by an antenna system that, momentarily, charges the transmitter.

Respiration Frequency

Using an ultra sensitive pressure transducer, changes in pressure produced by a subject respiring within the enclosed space produces cyclic variations of the pressure signal over time to reveal respiration frequency (breaths per minute).

Running Wheels

Oxymax/CLAMS can be equipped with running wheels with rotation monitoring. Running wheels for mice are sized such that they fit within the standard mouse chamber. Rat running wheels are too large for placement within the animal chamber. These wheels are appended to the end of the rat chamber. A hole between the two compartments allows animal passage.


The Modular Treadmill provides an air-tight enclosure around a motor driven belt to allow VO2/VCO2 measures during exercise. An electric stimulus at the rear of the belt keeps the animals running for the duration of the test.

Body Mass

Oxymax/CLAMS can be equipped with the ability to periodically monitor body mass. In this configuration, the animal is provided with an appealing cubby-hole fabricated from a translucent tube. The diminished lighting within the tube offers an environment conducive to nesting. The cubby-hole is supported by a mechanism affixed to an electronic balance.

Environmental Enclosure

The environmental enclosure allows precise control over the temperature and light / dark cycle. Temperature range is 5°C - 50°C within +/- 1°C.  Includes calorimeter humidity compensation for cold-challenge experiments.

Data Collection Software

The Oxymax/CLAMS Software controls all subsystems and integrates the data into CSV format for easy evaluation and real time presentation. The primary data file separates each measure into epochs defined by the response time of Calorimetric readings. Activity and Feeding have secondary data files with higher resolution. The secondary activity file allows higher temporal resolution with shorter bin times; user selectable, typically between 10-30 second intervals. The secondary Feeding file is event driven, and records the time and mass of each feeding bout.

CLAX Statistical Software

Oxymax/CLAMS can generate copious amounts of data. The CLAMS data eXamination Tool (CLAX) assists in the analysis of this data by presenting it in a meaningful fashion. CLAX allows for organizing animals within an experiment into treatment groups and provides tools for data trimming to remove information collected during animal acclimation. Data samples can also be sub-grouped into data collected during light or dark periods. The resulting trimmed and re-organized data may then be subjected to further analysis by CLAX.


Papers coming soon, presently in peer review.

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CLAMS-WC (waste measurements)
Environmental Enclosures (Freezer/Incubator for general housing)
Oxymax-CLAMS (metabolic phenotyping)
Ergometric Running Wheel (Loaded wheel)
Exer 3/6 Treadmill
Metabolic & Telemetric Treadmill
Mouse Mag Wheel (Home cage wheel)
Exer-Gait Treadmill (gait analysis)
Foot Misplacement Apparatus (Ladder Beam Test)
Grip Strength Meter
Hot Plate Analgesia Meter
Opto-M4 (activity meter)
Opto-Varimex-5 with Auto-Track (activity meter)
Responder-X (Startle Response)
Rota-Count (Rotations counter)
Rotamex-5 (Rotarod)
Tail Flick Analgesia Meter
Volumetric Drinking Monitor
NIBP (Blood Pressure)
RM-80 (breathing rate)
Micro-Oxymax (Respirometer)
Pegas 4000 (Gas mixer)
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