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3D Printed Open Source Automated Feeding System
Katrina Nguyen is currently a Biomedical Engineering graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University studying motor neuroscience research.
FED utilizes open-source software and hardware. The system dispenses a single food pellet into a food well where it is monitored by an infrared beam. When the mouse removes the pellet, FED logs the timestamp to a SD card and dispenses a new pellet into the well. Post-hoc analyses of pellet retrieval timestamps reveal high-resolution details about feeding behavior.
FED is capable of accurately measuring food intake, identifying discrete trends during light and dark-cycle feeding. Additionally, it’s helpful for measuring increases in feeding resulting from optogenetic stimulation of agouti-related peptide neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus.
The system is entirely open source, which means it is freely available to other labs. Institution’s that are interested in a FED system can print one of their own on a desktop 3D printer and can develop hardware and software based on their needs.