Small animal ALGOmeter

Key features
How to order



The SMALGO system is a quick and reliable instrument to assess threshold sensitivity of the animal when applying a progressive force. A MUST for osteo-arthritis and pain studies!

The SMALGO system fits on your finger (thumb or index) and allows applying easily a force or pressure on the desired location. Designed for OA quantification, it is generally used on the knee joint or on the lumbar vertebrae for low back pain assessment.

The threshold sensitivity of the animal is quickly and reliably found when applying a progressive force, this threshold is immediately displayed on the electronic device in Grams, Newton, Ibs or Oz.

The instrument is composed of :

  • The stimulator unit designed to be attached to the thumb delivered with 3 stimulation tips (3,5 and 8 mm in diameter)
  • A new interface table casing: This control unit is now the same as other mechanical pain stimulation instruments such as the Rodent Pincher and Electronic Von Frey. This compatibility allows the use of one unit for several instruments (economical solution). Moreover, a new feature is available : the Smalgo is now able to deliver TTL signals for electrophysiology applications.
  • The BIO-CIS Software for connection to a computer.

 Operating principle

 The operator adjusts the algometer (analgesimeter) to the thumb and applies a progressive pressure to the relevant location on the animal, as if he was applying the pressure directly with his own finger. The operator increases the stimulation until he obtains a reaction from the animal (scream, shudder...) and then stops the stimulation. The maximum force value is automatically saved and displayed on the screen of the instrument.

You can also connect the Smalgo to the BIO-CIS software. There are two ways of using Smalgo with this software :

  • The Smalgo can be connected directly to the software during the experiment. Bio-Cis will display force curves in real-time during every measurement, which is a great help to ensure repeatability during your stimulations and to validate your data.
  • You can also export all measurements stored in the inner memory of the Smalgo after the experiment.
  • In both cases, you will furthermore be able to export your results to an Excel file.

Supplied with

  • Carry case, mains adaptor 110/220 V
  • Control unit and its sensor (cable is 1 meter long)
  • 3 sensor tips 3, 5, 8 mm diam.
  • Software BIO-CIS included (only for SMALGO, not VETALGO) to display force curves and transfert data under MS Excel data sheet
  • RS-232-USB cable to plug it to a laptop under Windows
  • USB footswitch to reset the display hand-free

New Features

Enhanced compatibility: The Smalgo control unit is now the same as other mechanical pain stimulators from Bioseb.

  • Economical solution if you want to buy several mechanical pain stimulators.
  • All in one instrument reducing space in your laboratory.
  • Easy maintenance : Only one instrument to re-calibrate. Also, for users already owning the Bioseb Von frey (EVF4) or Pincher, the SMALGO sensor is available as an “add on” part to their instrument. (Ref: SMALGO-SPIP ).

TTL Option: For laboratories that need compatibility between Smalgo and Electrophysiology,  the instrument is eble to send TTL Signals between 0 and 5 volts.

  • Smalgo now enables you to pair electrophysiology signals and pain stimulation.
  • The operator can define a limit in force at which the Smalgo will send the trigger. The trigger can be sent when reaching one or several values. This is a very convenient feature for a large number of protocols.
  • The TTL trigger is easy to set up directly in the menu of the apparatus (without needing to connect to the software)
  • A sound and a light can be activated at a specific force. Several possibilities are available. Do not hesitate to contact us for this option.

Foot switch: With Smalgo, it is now possible to reset the value (tar/reset to zero) with a foot switch, allowing the operator to keep his both hands to manipulate the animal. The foot switch is systematically delivered with the Smalgo.


Measuring Range

0 to 1500 grams (15 N)


1 gram or 0.01 N

Acquisition Speed

Automatically detect the respond to pain at 1000 Hz

Overload protection



Extra-large to read both Peak (threshold) applied force
and Current Force value.


SMALGO includes internal memory for 100 measures.
Easy to use internal statistic package for quick check in between animal groups.


to PC via RS232 and optional dedicated software.


on the mains or on rechargeable battery (8 hours)


  • Small AH et al. (2018) A randomised field study evaluating the effectiveness of buccal meloxicam and topical local anaesthetic formulations administered singly or in combination at improving welfare of female Merino lambs undergoing surgical mulesing and hot knife tail docking. Res Vet Sci. 2018 Mar 8;118:305-311. (lambs, Australia)
  • Knazovicky D et al. (Replicate effects and test-retest reliability of quantitative sensory threshold testing in dogs with and without chronic pain). Vet Anaesth Analg. 2017 May;44(3):615-624. (dog, USA)
  • Knazovicky D et al. (2016) Widespread somatosensory sensitivity in naturally occurring canine model of osteoarthritis. Pain. 2016 Jun;157(6):1325-32. (dog, USA)
  • Freire M et al. (2016) Comparison of thermal and mechanical quantitative sensory testing in client-owned dogs with chronic naturally occurring pain and normal dogs. Vet J. 2016 Apr;210:95-7. (dog, Canada, USA)
  • Kim JS et al. (2015) Development of an Experimental Animal Model for Lower Back Pain by Percutaneous Injury-Induced Lumbar Facet Joint Osteoarthritis. J Cell Physiol. 2015 Nov;230(11):2837-47. (rat, USA, Republic of Korea)
  • Kalchofner Guerrero KS (2015) Comparison of a new metamizole formulation and carprofen for extended post-operative analgesia in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy. Vet J. 2015 Apr;204(1):99-104. (dog, Switzerland)
  • Kalchofner Guerrero KS et al. (2014) Alfaxalone or ketamine-medetomidine in cats undergoing ovariohysterectomy: a comparison of intra-operative parameters and post-operative pain. Vet Anaesth Analg. 2014 Nov;41(6):644-53. (cat, Switzerland, USA)
  • Briley JD et al. (2014) Feasibility and repeatability of cold and mechanical quantitative sensory testing in normal dogs. Vet J. 2014 Feb;199(2):245-50. (dog, USA)
  • Kim JS et al. (2011) The rat intervertebral disk degeneration pain model: relationships between biological and structural alterations and pain. Arthritis Res Ther. 2011;13(5):R165. (rat, USA)

How to order

SMALGO system



Small animal algometer (0-1500 gr) handled version for rats and mice, incl. BIO-CIS Soft.



Algometer for Vet Applications (software not included)



Additional SMALGO Stimulator


How to order

Please contact our local delegates or contact us directly for receiving a quote.


Key features

• Easy-to-use and reliable
• Works for both rats and mice
• Can be used to determine pain threshold with a progressive force
• Able to send TTL results for electrophysiology

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