Texas A&M Preclinical and Phenotyping Core

The Rodent Preclinical Phenotyping Core (RPPC) houses various instruments to measure and quantitate mouse physiology and behavior. We offer a wide variety of state of the art equipment to help expedite comprehensive research in many fields, including Behavior, Cardiovascular, Cancer, Chemical, Metabolic, and Skeletomuscular. Training and experimental support is available.

With our extensive experience in preclinical phenotyping using a variety of mouse and other small animal models, we can help guide you at every step in your translational research.  At the planning stages, we provide consulting to determine the optimal molecular, physiological and behavioral assays to address your research goals.  We maintain a wide suite of equipment supporting metabolic skeletomuscular, immune, cardiovascular, behavioral, cancer and molecular assays for detailed phenotyping of animal models, and provide access for generating preliminary data for new grant applications.  We also provide access to a unique mouse genetic reference population, the collaborative cross which enables investigations into the genetic bases and health and disease-related traits and environmental responses.


  • Cytek Aurora: The Cytek Aurora is a prodigy incorporating a unique combination of patent-pending innovative technologies that takes flow cytometry to the next level of performance and flexibility.
  • Protein Simple-Jess: Jess automates traditional Western blotting while maximizing multiplexing with multiple detection channels. Automation of protein separation and immunodetection eliminates many of the tedious, error-prone steps of traditional Western blotting which limit data quality. Just load your samples and reagents into the microplate and Jess separates your proteins by size, and precisely manages antibody additions, incubations, washes and even the detection steps. Come back to fully analyzed western blotting results on 24 samples in 3 hours. Go further with multiplexing—her fluorescent detection channel and RePlexing capabilities get you all the information you need on your samples in one run. Jess automated western blot system—she’s like multiplexed Western blot meets ELISA in one.
  • DxC 700 AU: The DxC 700 AU Chemistry Analyzer is the latest innovation in reliable chemistry systems. The DxC 700 AU is used to calculate the concentration of certain metabolites, electrolytes, proteins and/ or drugs in samples of serum, plasma, urine, or other body fluids.
  • Digigait: Digigait Analysis System is the most widely applicable and comprehensive gait analysis instrumentation available. It can measure voluntary and treadmill walking, hopping and running speeds, gait analysis on inclines, and many other parameters. It offers high throughput, highly accurate data collection and analysis.
  • OsmoPro Multi-Sample Micro-Osmometer: The OsmoPRO features a convenient carousel design that handles up to 20 samples, an intuitive touchscreen interface, and industry-leading performance. The OsmoPRO only requires 20ul and can test urine, plasma, serum, and stool osmolality.
  • Abaxis VetScan VSPro Chemistry Analyzer: The VETSCAN VSpro is a state-of-the-art specialty analyzer that offers a growing test menu. The PT/aPTT and fibrinogen tests currently offered on the VETSCAN VSpro delivers uncompromising accuracy from a small sample size with an amazingly simple and intuitive user interface.
  • Radial Arm Maze: The radial arm maze is a test for spatial, working, and reference learning and memory in mice and allows for several sophisticated testing protocols. For example, animals might be learning the location of a food reward in one of the arms by relying on cues inside or outside the maze, or memorizing which turns to take from their starting point.
  • Barnes Maze: The Barnes maze is a well-known paradigm to study spatial learning and memory. This maze consists of a circular table with circular holes around the circumference. The goal is for the animal to reach the box that is positioned beneath one of the holes with the aid of visual cues. A food reward in the goal box can help the training process. In some experiments, the surface of the table is brightly lit, serving as an aversion stimulus that motivates the mouse or rat to find (and hide in) the goal box.
  • Leica ASP300 Tissue Processor: The Leica ASP300 is designed for routine clinical and research histopathology and is an innovative, smart processor for paraffin infiltration of tissue.  This processor is capable of running 300 cassettes in a metal basket and 252 cassettes in a microwaveable plastic basket.
  • Rotarod Test for Mice: The Rotarod Test is used to assess motor coordination or fatigue resistance on mice and rats using one unit in a safe and humane way. The animals are placed on textured drums to avoid slipping. When an animal drops onto the individual sensing platforms below, test results are recorded digitally and displayed on the front panel.
  • Leica EG1150 Tissue Embedding: The Leica EG1150 modular tissue embedding center incorporates two separate components, the Leica EG1150 C cold plate, and the Leica EG1150H heated paraffin dispensing module.  The independent modules offer the flexibility to arrange embedding workflow in either direction to suit an individual’s needs.
  • Leica Rotary Microtome 2165: The highly versatile LEICA RM 2165 fully motorized rotary microtome is both suitable for routine applications in the medical laboratory and for semi-thin plastic sectioning required in biomedical research or material science applications.
  • TubeWriter 360: Any tube, any vial, any size: The TubeWriter 360 prints on anything that will fit under the printhead including the side or top of any tube, vial, histology cassette, microscope slide, cryovial, and more. Never go back to messy handwriting or sticky lab labels again.
  • Open Field Monitoring System: Open Field monitoring system for behavior analysis.
  • EchoMRI-100H: EchoMRI-100H for body composition analysis of whole body fat, lean, free water, and total water masses in live animals weighing up to ~100 grams. No anesthesia is required.
  • Stortz Rodent Endoscope: For use in small animal endoscopy for various diagnostic, surgical, and orthopedic indications
  • Heart Monitoring ECGenie: The Mouse Specifics, Inc.’s ECGenie is a rapid non-invasive solution for recording electrocardiograms (ECGs) in awake mice, rats, and guinea pigs. Applications include arrhythmia detection, health monitoring, and drug screening in fragile transgenic and knockout animals, including newborn pups.
  • TSE Phenomaster: TSE Phenomaster measures food/water intake, activity monitoring, and calorimetry/O2/CO2 measurements.
  • Hatteras Diuresis Cages: Unique nonwetting polymethylpentene funnel and cone design automatically separates feces and urine for accurate metabolic monitoring without urine wash-over. Exterior collection tubes are set in a chiller system set to maintain samples at 450 F and are easily removed without disturbing the animal.
  • Morris Water Maze: The Water maze is a well-known paradigm to study spatial learning and memory. The maze consists of a large circular tub filled with water and a hidden floating platform. The water serves as an aversion stimulus to motivate the mouse or rat to find a means of escape. The goal of the animal is to reach the platform with the aid of visual cues placed around the maze.
  • Small Animal Stereotaxic System: Small animal stereotaxic system provides researchers with not only greater ease, but more accurate readings than the vernier scales commonly found on other designs.
  • Three Chamber Monitoring System: Three-chamber sociability monitoring system for behavior analysis.
  • Shuttle Cages with Shock Floor: Fully modular Habitest configuration for active and passive Avoidance experiments in rodents. With Habitest, users can create an endless variety of test environments, instantly and seamlessly reconfiguring for an endless variety of experimental modalities.
  • Vevo 3100 Ultrasound: With a powerful combination of high frame rates and advanced image processing, the Vevo 3100 reduces speckle noise and artifacts while preserving and enhancing critical information.
  • TRU SCAN Activity Monitoring System: The TRU SCAN system is a versatile and simple system to monitor open field activity. Coulbourn’s TRU SCAN arenas feature a slide-out floor/drop pan for easier maintenance.
  • Rotarod Test Rats and Mice: The IITC Rotarod Test is used to assess the effect of drugs on the motor coordination or fatigue resistance on mice and rats using one unit in a safe and humane way. The animals are placed on textured drums to avoid slipping. When an animal drops onto the individual sensing platforms below, test results are recorded digitally and displayed on the front panel.
  • Hatteras Mouse Multi Channel Blood Pressure Analysis System: The MC4000 Multi Channel Blood Pressure Analysis System is a non-invasive instrument designed to help researchers efficiently and effectively obtain accurate blood pressure measurements on mice and rats. 
  • Coulbourn Habitest System: HABITEST is designed to make it possible to implement most behavioral test protocols in a single system of modular test arenas using modular stimulus and response devices. Applications span the behavioral gamut, including mazes and runways, operant conditioning, spatial activity, ergometry, active and passive avoidance, fear conditioning, place preference, feeding and drinking and many more.
  • Chatillon Force Measurement: The Chatillon Grip Strength allows investigators to test the maximum force of a mouse’s grip which will be stored on the display.  This test can be completed in less than a minute and can provide mechanical information about one’s mice.
  • Abaxis VetScan VS2 Chemistry Analyzer: Abaxis VetScan VS2 Chemistry Analyzer is a state-of-the-art chemistry, electrolyte, immunoassay and blood gas analyzer that delivers uncompromising accuracy from just two drops of whole blood, serum or plasma.
  • Abaxis VetScan HM5 Hematology System: The Abaxis VetScan HM5 Color Hematology System is a fully-automated, five-part differential hematology analyzer displaying a comprehensive 22-parameter complete blood count (CBC) with cellular histograms on an easy-to-read touch-screen.

Behavioral Equipment:

  • Barnes Maze                                                               
  • Three Chamber Sociability
  • Coulbourn Habitest System                                      
  • True Scan Open Field
  • Noldus Open Field                                                     
  • Water Maze
  • Radial Eight Arm Maze

Cancer/Cardiovascular Equipment:

  • ECGenie
  • Storz Rodent Endoscope
  • SomnoSuite

Chemical Equipment:

  • Abaxis VetScan HM5
  • Abaxis VetScan VS2 Chemistry Analyzer
  • Abaxis VetScan VSpro
  • OsmoPro Multi-Sample Micro-Osmometer

Histological Equipment:

  • Leica EG1150 Embedding Station
  • Leica Rotary Microtome 2165
  • TubeWriter 360

Metabolic Equipment:

  • Hatteras Diuresis Metabolic Cage System
  • Hatteras MC4000 Blood Pressure Analysis System
  • TSE Phenomaster
  • Skeletomuscular Equipment
  • Digigait System
  • EchoMRI 100H Body Composition Analyzer
  • Grip Strength
  • ITC Life Science Rotarod