3D Kinematic Gait Analysis for Preclinical Studies in Rodents

This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

The utility of three-dimensional (3D) kinematic motion analysis systems is limited in rodents. Part of the reason for this inadequacy is the use of complex algorithms and mathematical modeling that accompany 3D data collection and analysis procedures. This work provides a simple, user-friendly, step-by-step detailed methodology for 3D kinematic gait analysis during treadmill locomotion in healthy and neurotraumatic rats using a six-camera motion capture system. Also provided are details on 1) calibration of the system in an experimental set-up customized for quadrupedal locomotion, 2) data collection for treadmill locomotion in adult rats using markers positioned on all four limbs, 3) options available for video tracking and processing, and 4) basic 3D kinematic data generation and visualization and quantification of data using the built-in data collection software. Finally, it is suggested that the utility of this motion capture system be expanded to studying a variety of motor behaviors before and after neurotrauma.