An implantable device for wireless monitoring of diverse physio-behavioral characteristics in freely behaving small animals and interacting groups

Neuron. 2024 Jun 5;112(11):1764-1777.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2024.02.020. Epub 2024 Mar 26.


Comprehensive, continuous quantitative monitoring of intricately orchestrated physiological processes and behavioral states in living organisms can yield essential data for elucidating the function of neural circuits under healthy and diseased conditions, for defining the effects of potential drugs and treatments, and for tracking disease progression and recovery. Here, we report a wireless, battery-free implantable device and a set of associated algorithms that enable continuous, multiparametric physio-behavioral monitoring in freely behaving small animals and interacting groups. Through advanced analytics approaches applied to mechano-acoustic signals of diverse body processes, the device yields heart rate, respiratory rate, physical activity, temperature, and behavioral states. Demonstrations in pharmacological, locomotor, and acute and social stress tests and in optogenetic studies offer unique insights into the coordination of physio-behavioral characteristics associated with healthy and perturbed states. This technology has broad utility in neuroscience, physiology, behavior, and other areas that rely on studies of freely moving, small animal models.

Keywords: behavior; implantable; mechano-acoustic; neural circuits; physiology; signal processing; wireless.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal* / physiology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Optogenetics* / methods
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Respiratory Rate / physiology
  • Wireless Technology*