Animal Metabolism Phenotyping Core

The Animal Metabolism Phenotyping Core is a comprehensive, full-service facility that offers technical support and expertise for measuring traits related to energy balance in mouse models of nutritionally relevant disease. The Core provides access to state of the art methods, equipment, and populations to assure a high level of quality control and maximal throughput that could not be achieved (or afforded) by individual investigators. With locations in Chapel Hill and Kannapolis, the Core facilitates the use of mouse models by supporting high quality and high throughput phenotyping of energy balance components. The AMP Core offers a variety of animal metabolism phenotyping services including:

Study Design and Data Interpretation
Expertise on study design, quality control, and analysis methods that are appropriate for a wide variety of animal experiments requiring measurement of metabolism and energy balance.

Calorimetry (Analysis of Energy Expenditure/Food & Drink Consumption)
The calorimetry instrumentation (TSE systems) is used to evaluate and interpret energy expenditure in mice. The system measures O2 consumption & CO2 production, respiratory exchange rate, and energy expenditure in the home cage environment. The indirect calorimetry can also evaluate and interpret energy expenditure in 3-D (X, Y and Z dimension) via light beams for up to 10-days using intervals between 1 to 60 minutes in the home cage environment. This instrumentation also evaluates food and drink consumption in mice in real time, monitors multiple diets and/or drink combinations, and analyzes eating behavior patterns. The system can accumulate up to 10-days of feeding and drinking data, using intervals between 1 to 60 minutes.

Metabolic Cages for Collection of Urine and Feces
The system combines 15 Metabolic Cages (Hatteras Instruments) and a cooling unit. The cooling unit will keep the urine samples at or below 45F during the collection. Different from traditional non-chilled metabolic cages, this system will prevent bacterial multiplication, improve sample quality and increase the sample shelf life. The metabolic cage is a 5-inch diameter cylinder with mesh lid to provide fresh air. Suggested collection period, 6-24 hours.

MRI (Analysis of Body Composition)
MRI scanner technology is used is evaluate whole body composition (including fat, lean tissue and water) in live mice without anesthesia. This analysis also includes measurements for whole tissues and tissue biopsies.

Voluntary Running Wheel (Analysis of Voluntary Exercise)
Using the voluntary running wheel, daily summary measurements including total daily revolutions, time spent running (i.e., cumulative 1-minute intervals in which at least one revolution was recorded), average speed (total revolutions / time spent running) and maximum speed (highest number of revolutions in any one-minute interval within a 24 hour period) are recorded and analyzed in mice.

Treadmill (Analysis of Mouse Exercise Performance Measurement)
The Exer-3/6 treadmill is a general purpose animal exerciser. This analysis includes 3 adaptations and one-maximal performance measurement. These tests help to examine the metabolic parameters in mice using speed, acceleration, and distance traveled as measures. The data is recorded and analyzed by the core using statistical Exer-3/6 software.

Core Personnel

Daniel Pomp, PhD, Core Director

Department of  Genetics
T: (919) 966-0013


coleman_rosalind_112010Rosalind A. Coleman MD, Co-Core Director

Departments of Nutrition & Pediatrics
T: (919) 966-7213


Brian Bennett, PhD, Core Co-Director (Kannapolis Facilities)

Assistant Professor
Department of Genetics
T: (919) 966-7213


Kunjie Hua, PhD, Core Manager

Department of  Genetics
T: (919) 966-0091

Service Request Form

To request animal metabolism phenotyping services, please complete the online service request form. For more information about core services, please contact Kunjie Hua, Core Manager.