As part of a continual improvement process and based on several years of scientific and technical experience, the SILABE platform continuously conducts development projects in a number of fields such as behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, ophthalmology, reproduction and breeding, all the while with respect for animal welfare and the 3Rs.

Internally, SILABE is working on several new areas aimed at developing innovative tools and methods, but also at acquiring new skills and practices that will benefit its activity, and the scientific community in general. These developments have several goals, including the refinement, replacement and improvement of techniques currently used in animal experimentation, but also the development of translational approaches via tools intended for use on humans.

These R&D projects are carried out for both the platform's own internal needs and in partnership with national or international institutions.

Examples of innovations developed at the SILABE platform

Automated testing module for cognitive tests on a touchscreen

This development project, carried out in collaboration with the Cognitive and Adaptive Neuroscience Laboratory (LNCA), aimed to design an innovative tool for use as a measuring instrument in the field of cognitive and experimental neuroscience. The objective was to evaluate the cognitive capacities of subjects (non-human primates) housed in social groups, without the need for physical constraint, or the need to withhold food or water.

Today, this new technology is fully functional on site. Beyond the fact that it is a high-quality enrichment for the social groups that have access to it, it allows for the collection of valuable data in a completely autonomous way and on a variety of cognitive tasks, i.e., short-term memory, attention, working memory, recognition memory and visual acuity.

This example of a new development is perfectly in line with the platform's strategy and was patented in 2016 under the title : "Apprentissage multitâches et module avec double capteur RFID" (n°1656699).

 For further information : 

Fizet J, Rimele A, Pebayle T, Cassel JC, Kelche C & Meunier H. (2017). An autonomous and automated device to assess concurrently several cognitive functions in non-human primates living in social groups. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 145: 45-58. (DOI: 10.1016/j.nlm.2017.07.013).

Development of a touchscreen tablet application allowing for the assessment of visual acuity in children

In 2016, a collaborative project was launched with an ophthalmology team from the teaching hospitals of Strasbourg, based on an existing application developed at SILABE for use on freely accessible touchscreens and in order to assess the visual acuity of non-human primates. The aim of this collaboration was to develop a screening device for visual acuity disorders in young children, or for tracking post-operative functional recovery.

The SILABE platform drew inspiration from the existing battery of tests for non-human primates in order to first develop an application for testing close-up vision (Phase I, development & study carried out in 2016-2017), and second, an application for assessing vision from afar (Phase II, in the development stage). These applications are now used on touchscreen tablets running on an Android mobile operating system. These new tools offer practitioners an ergonomic and user-friendly approach to ophthalmological diagnosis and increased motivation for young patients to undergo these exams.

The development of this tool led to an APP (Agency for the Protection of Programmes) deposit that legally protects the application (IDDN.FR.001.070022.000.R.P.2019.000.10000.)

 For further information : 

Di Foggia E, Stoll N, Meunier H, Rimelé A, Ance P, Moreau PH, Speeg-Schatz C, Sauer A, (2020). A new visual acuity test on touchpad for vision screening in children. International Journal of Ophthalmology, Sep 18: 31(9): 1436-1442. (DOI: 10.18240/ijo.2020.03.16).

Our platform is open to partnerships and responds to national and/or international calls for project proposals.  

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