Pain and Inflammation

TGR - Thermal Gradient Ring (Zimmermann's method)

The Thermal Gradient Ring is a novel device, which allows recording and analysis of Comprehensive Thermal Preference Phenotyping in Mice, according to Zimmermann's method.

Features / Specifications

New circular design, ID 45cm, OD 57cm
Thermal Insulated Ring-shaped Aluminium Runway
Heater and cooler on opposite sides, to establish a symmetric gradient
12 zones per side (specular), 40cm2 each
4 thermocouples embedded in the thermal gradient ring
CCD-camera (included in the standard package, with its dedicated support) and ANY maze video-tracking software
The system includes a set of 4 dual (visible/I.R.) lights


Currently available behavioral assays to quantify normal cold sensitivity, cold hypersensitivity and cold hyperalgesia in mice have betimes created conflicting results in the literature.

Some only capture a limited spectrum of thermal experiences, others are prone to experimenter bias or are not sensitive enough to detect the contribution of ion channels to cold sensing because in mice smaller alterations in cold nociception do not manifest as frank behavioral changes.

To overcome current limitations we have designed a novel device that is automated, provides a high degree of freedom, i.e. thermal choice, and eliminates experimenter bias.

The device represents a thermal gradient assay designed as a circular running track. It allows discerning exploratory behavior from thermal selection behavior and provides increased accuracy by providing measured values in duplicate and by removing edge artifacts.

Our custom-designed automated offline analysis by a blob detection algorithm is devoid of movement artifacts, removes light reflection artifacts and provides an internal quality control parameter which we validated.

Von Frey Hairs

The Aesthesio® set of 20 monofilaments is based on the Semmes Weinstein monofilament set, but now features retrac­table head to protect the filament and allow the evaluator to carry a few around in a pocket. Used for evaluating cutaneous sensation levels. One of the most popular non-invasive techniques used.

Features / Specifications

Retractable filament
Effective use in clinical setting
Optional perforated platform available

I.R. Heat-Flux Radiometer for Tail Flick and Plantar Test

The Heat-Flux Radiometer was designed to calibrate I.R. sources, in particular to make sure they deliver the same power flux (expressed in mW per square cm) and hence a nociceptive stimulus of the same intensity.

Features / Specifications

Calibrate IR emission of Tail Flick and Plantar Test
Provides a measure of stimulus intensity in mW/cm2


The design of a simple and reliable I.R. Radiometer has been made possible by the availability of miniature flat “temperature gradient sensors”, whose out-put signal is proportional to the temperature difference between their top and bottom surface.

The NEW Tail-Flick Unit, thermal stimulation of the tail, according to D'Amour & Smith method

The New Tail Flick was designed to measure accurately the nociceptive threshold to infrared heat stimulus on the rat or mouse tail with bright touch screen for enhanced usability and intuitive menus and automatic tail flick detection of foot pedal driven for best repeatability and human sensitivity.

Features / Specifications

NEW: Tail-flick is scored automatically or manually
NEW: fully controlled by a 4.3" touch screen
USB memory key and software are included
No protruding elements and unobstructed surface
Radiant energy can be calibrated with optional Radiometer 


The Tail Flick Unit basically consists of an I.R. source, whose radiant energy of adjustable intensity is focused by an embodied parabolic mirror on the rat tail.
The animal is held by the operator on the instrument unobstructed upper panel in such a way that its tail, placed over a flush mounted window, receives the I.R. energy.
The operator starts the stimulus and the related reaction-time counter by the pedal switch or by the touch screen start icon. 
When the animal feels pain and flicks its tail, a sensor detects it, stops the reaction-time counter and switches off the bulb. The reaction time of the animal is thus automatically determined to the nearest 0.1 second (unless the manual score option is activated, in which case it is the scientist to stop the counter by pressing the footswitch).


Plethysmometer displays the exact paw volume on the graphic LCD read-out. Small differences are detected by a transducer of original design.

Features / Specifications

Foot-Pedal to freeze the reading
More than 1000 citations since 1960s
Interchangeable water cells


A Plethysmometer is an instrument designed to measure small changes in volume, usually via the displacement of water.
In the 60s, Ugo Basile designed the first original device, designed specifically to measure paw swelling in rodents, since then, thousands of scientists have relied on our Plethysmometer to conduct their research on inflammation, publishing almost 3000 scientific papers!
The instrument is typically used to measure precisely the experimentally induced inflammation of the paw in rodents, and its changes due to administration of pharmacologiacal substances potentially active on inflammation.