Benedict, D., Megrath, B. 2018. Upgrades to nonhuman primate tethered infusion system. Laboratory Animal Science Professional 6(3) (September), 62-64.
Continuous tethered infusions in any animal model pose a unique set of problems. These problems are amplified when nonhuman primates are the model. A high tolerance to the tether system by an animal model is of paramount importance. The less the animal feels encumbered or stressed by the tether components, the better for the animal, for the collection of quality data, and for the longevity and reliability of the tether system. In order to accomplish continual infusion in Macaca fascicularis for more than 90 d, we looked at every aspect of our existing tether system and procedures for potential improvements. Most of our efforts focused on decreasing the stress experienced by the animals and improving their comfort. Several new designs for infusion jackets were tested; the final jacket model improved fit by adding adjustability and padding. The catheter was also updated to a model that incorporated elements to decrease irritation to the vein, provide more secure placement, increase the robustness of the overall system, and improve workflow. The results of the upgrades were far better than we could have hoped. Every method we used to measure animal wellbeing, workload, and success of the study saw dramatic increases. In some cases, previous issues; e.g., the animal being able to damage the catheter under the jacket or remove their jacket were eliminated. Our new system greatly increased the quality of life of our animals, eased the workload of the technicians, and provided more consistent data.