Rodent Balance Beam


Rodent Balance Beam Apparatus—an indispensable tool for gait analysis in rodents, crucial for understanding motor function. (For research purposes ONLY)

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The Rodent Balance Beam Apparatus

Gait analysis is an indispensable tool for understanding motor function, assessing neurological disorders, and evaluating therapeutic interventions in rodents. A fundamental aspect of this analysis is the utilization of a rodent balance beam apparatus. The rodent balance beam has a maximum height of 35 inches (88.9 centimeters). It can be of any length and made with either plexiglass (non-porous) plastic or wood for the balance beam (For research purposes ONLY).

Experimental Setup for Rodent Balance Beam for Gait Analysis

Safety Measures:

  • Confirm that the safety measures of the balance beam are functioning correctly. This may include safety walls or harnesses to prevent falls.
  • Make any necessary adjustments or repairs if you detect any issues. If you need specific safety measures for your study, let us know.
  • Establish clear protocols for handling rodents during trials, including humane handling procedures and safety precautions for researchers.

Controlled Environment:

  • Select a dedicated and controlled experimental environment that minimizes external variables that could affect the gait analysis.
  • Maintain consistent room temperature, humidity levels, and lighting conditions throughout the experiment. Fluctuations in environmental factors can influence rodent behavior.

Noise Reduction:

  • Implement measures to reduce noise within the experimental space. Excessive noise can stress the rodents and interfere with their performance on the balance beam.
  • Consider using acoustic insulation or conducting experiments during periods of minimal laboratory activity to maintain a quiet environment.

Camera and Lighting Setup:

  • If using video recording for gait analysis, position high-resolution cameras at strategic angles to capture the rodent’s movements effectively.
  • Ensure proper lighting conditions to enhance video quality and minimize shadows or glare that may affect data accuracy.

Habituation and Training:

  • Allow rodents to acclimate to the experimental environment before conducting formal trials. This helps reduce stress and anxiety, ensuring more reliable data.
  • Gradually introduce them to the balance beam apparatus through training sessions.
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques to motivate rodents to traverse the beam willingly.

Trial Sequence:

  • Develop a structured trial sequence, including the number of trials, rest intervals between trials, and randomization of trial order to minimize bias.
  • Maintain a standardized testing protocol throughout the experiment to ensure consistency in data collection.

Data Recording and Storage:

  • Utilize appropriate software or data recording systems to collect gait analysis data accurately. Ensure synchronization with any motion-capture or force-plate systems if used.
  • Establish a secure data storage system to protect and organize the vast amount of data generated during gait analysis experiments.

Animal Selection and Training

  • Select rodents that are relevant to your research objectives and acclimate them to the balance beam apparatus through training sessions.
  • Encourage them to traverse the beam while monitoring their performance.
  • Training helps ensure that animals are comfortable with the apparatus and perform reliably during actual trials.

Data Collection

To initiate data collection, position the rodent at one end of the balance beam and allow them to traverse to the other end. High-resolution video cameras or motion-capture systems are commonly used to record the rodent’s movements with precision. Capturing multiple trials is essential to obtain a comprehensive dataset.

Analyzing Gait Parameters

  • Post-data collection, the focus shifts to gait parameter analysis.
  • Utilize specialized software to extract critical gait parameters, including step length, stride duration, paw placement, and posture.
  • These parameters offer insights into motor function, balance, and potential abnormalities.

Interpretation and Reporting

  • Interpret the collected gait data in the context of your research objectives.
  • Detect any deviations from normal gait patterns and assess the impact of experimental treatments or interventions.
  • The insights gained from this analysis can inform decisions related to drug development, neurological studies, and beyond.

Additional information

Weight 50 lbs
Dimensions 40 × 20 × 20 in



Mouse, Rat


Acrylic, Wood


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