Four animals (rats or mice) are placed on a rod, whose rotation speed is controlled by the experimenter. The time the animal stays on the rod before falling is an indicator of the sensorimotor coordination, the balance, the endurance. This test is often used to reveal the effects of a drug or a genetic modification on the motor coordination.
We developed Rotarods on which both rats and mice may be tested.
This apparatus consists of an aluminum structure covered in PVC plates. Partitions delimit four zones, each zone being equipped with an independent floor sensor to detect falls. A push button, located in front of each compartment, triggers a chronometer that is ended by the detection of the fall. The rotating bar is mounted on two bearings; it is rotated by a DC gear motor through a pulley-belt transmission, maximum speed: 80 rpm. The rotation speed may be controlled thanks to a digital panel. The current rotating speed is continuously displayed on the control screen. This rack is connected to an interface, which provides formatting signals from sensors and allows communication with the computer.