The PHECOMP system is an innovative and appropriate equipment for measuring food/liquid consumption and correlated motor activity in studies designed to assess compulsive behaviours in rodents.
The Panlab PHECOMP system uses the weight transducer technology for measuring food and drink consumption, thus allowing a continuous signal and then a precise analysis of the animal meal pattern by the software. The animal home cages can be associated to up to 4 external units for food or drink (user-defined). The system registers absorbed food and its wastage by means of weight transducers of very high stability mounted into the platform supporting each cage. The quantity of water drunk from a nipple, and any possible dripping, are also accounted using the same system of transducers. Animal activity and rearing are recorded simultaneously by the means of 2 dimensional IR frames.
The signals from each weight transducer unit and the IR frame are amplified, digitalized and send to the PHECOMP software for storing and further analysis. A track is also recorded and can be analyzed by the Panlab Actitrack software for further analysis of animal position. Only one cable connects the platforms between them and the last one is linked to the PC using RS232/USB port.
The modular design of the PHECOMP system allows a wide range of experimental procedures for characterizing the evolution of the animal compulsive behaviour along the experimental process: (i) in general schedule for behavioural testing obese versus non-obese animals, (ii) in a set of experimental interventions suitable for the detection of causal factors including compulsive components (choice test, bitter test, starvation...) and (iii) for screening anti-obesity compound developed by the pharmaceutical companies.