One specific area where XiltriX innovation has an immense impact is monitoring vivariums. Safeguarding and ensuring proper vivarium conditions is extremely important for animal safety and well-being, as well as experiment reproducibility. This includes the legal responsibility to continuously monitor vivarium conditions where animals are kept during, or between, any clinical trials. If certain trials generate positive outcomes, the ability to show animals were kept in properly controlled conditions at all stages will substantiate results and deliver necessary data for quality and compliance reporting.
XiltriX lab monitoring for vivariums delivers vital information on all facility and equipment conditions in real-time, allowing for any deviations or anomalies to be addressed quickly and for any corrective actions to be digitally documented. Vivarium facilities and lab operations teams need to ensure that all systems are functioning optimally at any given moment. Having accurate and reliable data in real-time is imperative to intervene when any deviations outside of preset parameters occur.
Utilizing simple data loggers to gather information from sensors is not sufficient and makes replicating experiment conditions difficult. These outdated solutions do not provide data in real-time, typically storing information at 15-60 minute intervals. This gap between data makes it difficult to analyze trends and gather insights that can be used to improve vivarium conditions and experiment reproducibility. Having retrospective data on vivarium conditions with living animals such as temperature, humidity, light intensity, and many more is not the best practice and can lead to adverse effects in studies or trials. Only real-time measurement data from a system like XiltriX provides the necessary data to support operational improvements in vivariums. All sensors connected to the XiltriX system are measured multiple times per minute, and in the event of an alarm or deviation outside of preset parameters, measurements are taken every five seconds. This provides finite, focused data for analysis, enabling research scientists to determine the severity of any deviations and potential influence on experiment results.
Figure 1: Automated logging of more data in the event of a deviation. Red dots indicate database entries. Red lines indicate extended door openings.
Every laboratory and vivarium facility is different and layouts are seldom straightforward. Depending on the design and the availability of communication or network ports, XiltriX offers a variety of implementation options. XiltriX industrial-grade hardware substations can communicate through a serial RS-485, a proprietary 915 MHz frequency, or directly via a TCP/IP network. All options can also be integrated to create hybrid systems in order to offer the best option for every room in a facility. All substations are equipped with a built-in, 48-hour backup battery in the event of a facility-wide power outage. The system can also monitor power generators and backup generators during these instances to ensure facility power is properly supplied or restored. The flexibility, scalability, and reliability of XiltriX hardware make the system the best option for any vivarium facility monitoring.
In vivarium environments, animal cages need to be regularly maintained and cleaned. This requires flexible mounting options for monitoring devices. The XiltriX expert implementation and Safety Net team install devices on vivarium units with permanent, strong-hold magnets that will allow for simple removal during maintenance or cleaning cycles. The magnetic mounting option is very useful for vivarium and cleanroom environments with strict and required cleaning procedures.
XiltriX has a lot of experience utilizing surface-mounted sensors in the biotechnology and IVF industries. This extensive knowledge translates well to vivarium monitoring and is used for mounting surface temperature probes on, instead of inside, cages. Small, self-adhesive probes can be placed on the cage exterior and easily removed and reattached, if necessary.
In order to create the best possible conditions in vivariums, it is imperative to maintain overpressure at all times. Overpressure creates an outwards motion of filtered air, pushing away any contaminants rather than drawing them in. Without monitoring consistency in overpressure, vivariums are exposed to additional risks and issues with pressure balances.
If a door is left open for too long, the pressure balance in vivariums can be disrupted, and particles and contaminants might also be drawn in from unwanted areas causing additional issues.
XiltriX offers many types of pressure sensors. These sensors monitor myriad pressure conditions and provide peace of mind knowing all areas of a vivarium are properly monitored. By also including HVAC monitoring to ensure the system is functioning properly, XiltriX provides additional data on airflow and quality in a vivarium.
Monitoring lighting conditions in vivariums is extremely important. It isn’t just monitoring whether the light is on or off, but also the intensity of the lighting. XiltriX integrates seamlessly with Lux light sensors, provided by XiltriX at no additional cost, which provide accurate measurements of light intensity. By programming parameter limits in the system that automatically follow an animal’s circadian rhythm, XiltriX monitors whether animals have the appropriate light intensity at the right times. Multiple light sensors are strategically placed around the vivarium during implementation so sensors do not need to be placed on every cage.
Life science organizations perform different types of research and require close monitoring of myriad parameters. For vivariums: water quality, ammonia, vibrations, and many other variables play significant roles in research results, making it important to implement a flexible monitoring solution capable of meeting varying and evolving sensor requirements. XiltriX seamlessly integrates with a variety of sensors and is easily configurable to avoid interfering with animals or cage maintenance cycles.
Most organizations and users are not necessarily interested in operating and maintaining their own servers and databases for monitoring. For this reason, XiltriX offers full-service management of the monitoring system and cloud-based software. The XiltriX team installs, configures, and proactively manages the system to alleviate the burden of allocating internal employees’ time and resources. Each user, with detailed role-based access, can utilize the system as needed and view their respective parts of the system in real-time. Notifications will be sent if sensors specific to a user’s access are outside limits. For users that are not as hands-on in the system and need to focus their efforts on other important areas, the XiltriX Safety Net team of experts monitors the system 24/7 as an added layer of security to help address any alerts or deviations.
XiltriX installation and software can be fully-validated, if necessary, to prove compliance with FDA, GxP, and many other standards and regulations. The XiltriX Safety Net team will help generate automated reports for users to prove that all equipment and facility conditions have maintained valid statuses and to show total control when any internal or external audits occur.
Users that are responsible for monitoring systems increasingly rely on the ability to utilize mobile devices for access, especially outside of regular office hours. If an alarm is triggered in the middle of the night, or on a weekend, XiltriX software allows for direct access to the system from any device: computer, laptop, mobile, tablet, etc. with full functionality and capabilities. Any pertinent issues can be queried and addressed in real-time, and the system enables users to delay alarms remotely if the deviation can be addressed later. A comprehensive user interface shows detailed graphs and any system configuration actions are easily administered. XiltriX is the ideal monitoring solution for all vivarium monitoring needs. For more information on monitoring environmental conditions, read our eBook: Laboratory Environmental Monitoring