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Metabolic Core (MMD-CIVMC)

Molecular Metabolism and Disease Collaborative In Vivo Metabolic Core (MMD-CIVMC)

The Molecular Metabolism and Disease Collaborative In Vivo Metabolic Core (MMD-CIVMC) at Michigan State University (MSU) provides state of the art instrumentation to researchers (inside and outside MSU) studying metabolic (and other) diseases in mouse models. The following instrumentation is housed in the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building (ISTB) vivarium and the Biomedical and Physical Sciences Building (BPS):

  • TSE Phenomaster / Labmaster Metabolic caging system
  • Bruker Minispec LF50
  • X-RAD320 (located in BPS)

Our MMD-CIVMC personnel have over 26 years of experience in the care and use of animals in research and provide expertise in many techniques used in animal research. Letters of support for grant applications plus information required for Animal Use Protocols are provided upon request. Scheduling calendars are available for each piece of equipment.


TSE Phenomaster / Labmaster caging system (located in the ISTB vivarium) is a multi-modular platform that allows researchers the ability to carry out metabolic, behavioral, and physiological monitoring of mice in an automated and synchronized manner. Currently our system consists of 8 cages with modules to measure metabolic performance, activity, plus feeding and drinking behavior.

The components measured by the system are:

1) Calorimetry:

  • Flow (l/min)
  • Temperature (0C, measurement in the box)
  • O2 concentration (%, reference and per box)
  • CO2 concentration (%, reference and per box)
  • dO2 difference (%, reference O2 – Box O2)
  • dCO2 difference (%, reference CO2 – Box CO2)
  • VO2 (O2 consumption, ml/(kg x h) or ml/h)
  • VCO2 (CO2 production, ml/(kg x h) or ml/h)
  • RER, respiratory exchange rate (VCO2/VO2)
  • H, heat (kcal/(kg x h) resp., or Kcal/h)

The TSE system is carefully calibrated using certified calibration gases whose O2 and CO2 concentrations are accurately known.

2) Activity measurements via MoTil2 IR sensor frames and/or a passive wheel. The IR sensors frames are configured to measure locomotor activity in the x, y, and z plane. The software records the number of beam interruptions caused by the animal’s movement. The total number of beam breaks recorded is a sum of the ambulatory and fine movements. A passive wheel (of which there are 4) allows measurement of spontaneous activity by the animal with the number of turns the wheel makes clockwise or counterclockwise being recorded.

3) Drinking and feeding behavior for each animal in each cage is recorded via the sensors the drinking and feeding stations are attached to. Defined calibration weights are also used to calibrate the drinking and feeding system which allows accurate monitoring of how much food an animal eats and how much water it drinks.

Bruker Minispec LF50 (located in the ISTB vivarium) can be utilized for whole body composition analysis in live mice. The Minispec non-invasively and non-destructively acquires and analyses time-domain nuclear magnetic resonance (TD-NMR) signals from all protons in the animal and provides body composition results in the form of the percentage of lean, fat and fluid in the animal. Analysis time is less than 2 minutes per animal, no anesthesia is necessary, and there is minimal preparation time required. The LF50 will analyze animals weighing up to 50g.  Mouse restraining devices and a daily check calibration standard are provided. Hands-on training is available.

X-RAD 320 Biological Irradiator (located in room 1114 Biomedical Physical Sciences Building) is a self-contained X-ray system for delivering radiation dosages safely and effectively to specimens e.g., cell cultures, small animals. All users must complete EHS online Analytical X-Ray devices training prior to receiving hands on training in the proper use of the machine. Visit EHS Training to access “Ability Login” (requires MSU Net ID and password) to complete training requirements.

The X-RAD 320 has the following features:

X-ray Tube

  • Maximum Potential: 320KV
  • Maximum Power: 4000W
  • Type: metal ceramic, fixed anode, oil to water cooled

Filters : allow beam conditioning to achieve specific beam HVL’s (Half Value Layer)

  • F1: 2.0mm Aluminum (HVL @ 1.0mm Cu)
  • F2: 0.75mm Tin + 0.25mm Copper + 1.5mm Aluminum (HVL @ 3.7mm Cu)

User Friendly Operator Controls

  • TouchRAD Control Panel
  • Password Protected User Accounts
  • Programmable Settings, easily recall exposure parameters

Additional Features

  • Automatic warm-up with Intelligent Tube Conditioning
  • Dose Measurement & Control (extrapolate the dose desired at a particular sample distance, and turn off x-rays when a pre-selected dose is achieved).


  • Two radiation chambers for mouse whole body irradiation studies. Each holds up to 12 mice.