Patent granted in USA for the invention from Nencki Institute and Center for Theoretical Physics PAS

The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent for the invention entitled "An ecologically relevant system and a method for testing spontaneous social interactions in group-housed mice" (US10638722). The system was developed within the Institute, thanks to the cooperation between Ewelina Knapska, the head of the Laboratory of Emotions Neurobiology, dr. Alicja Puścian (a PhD student back then), dr. Paweł Boguszewski (head of Behavioral Methods Laboratory), and dr. Szymon Łęski (Laboratory of Neuroinformatics).


The subject of the invention is Eco-HAB, the system for studying social interactions in mouse models of social impairments. The system is based on a RFID (Radio Frequency-Based Identification) technology, and offers automated recording of social interactions between animals. Eco-HAB comprises several compartments connected by tube-shaped corridors, which resemble the natural environment in which mice live. Unlike classic sociability tests, Eco-HAB provides high reproducibility of measurements of spontaneous, ecologically relevant social behaviours. Interactions between the experimenter and animals is reduced to minimum, thus obtaining results require less manpower, and are obtained faster.


Eco-HAB with an open source, custom-made software for data analysis and detailed description (Puścian et al. 2016), is a response to the need for an experimental system where animals’ stress is reduced to a minimum, and thus it may provide reproducible results of behavioural tests. The system components are described in the public domain, thus it is possible to reconstruct the set-up. Eco-HAB is already used in i.a. w Centre de Regulació Genòmica, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, KU Leuven, McGill University.


Want to learn more contact

Dr Dorota Gierej-Czerkies
Tel. +48 22 5892 263