MouseVUER: video based open-source system for laboratory mouse home-cage monitoring

Sci Rep. 2024 Feb 1;14(1):2662. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-52788-9.


Video monitoring of mice in the home-cage reveals behavior profiles without the disruptions caused by specialized test setups and makes it possible to quantify changes in behavior patterns continually over long time frames. Several commercial home-cage monitoring systems are available with varying costs and capabilities; however there are currently no open-source systems for home-cage monitoring. We present an open-source system for top-down video monitoring of research mice in a slightly modified home-cage. The system is designed for integration with Allentown NexGen ventilated racks and allows unobstructed view of up to three mice, but can also be operated outside the rack. The system has an easy to duplicate and assemble home-cage design along with a video acquisition solution. The system utilizes a depth video camera, and we demonstrate the robustness of depth video for home-cage mice monitoring. For researchers without access to Allentown NexGen ventilated racks, we provide designs and assembly instructions for a standalone non-ventilated rack solution that holds three systems for more compact and efficient housing. We make all the design files, along with detailed assembly and installation instructions, available on the project webpage ( ).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computers*
  • Housing, Animal*
  • Mice