How long do transponders last?
The transponders have no battery or moving parts. The transponder is powered by the radio frequency sent from the probe. They have been through stress testing to estimate the life span. The result was at least 100 year estimated life span.
Can BMDS Transponders be read with readers from other manufactures?
No. Our transponders communicate at a specific frequencies and the frequencies are different for most transponders. The IPTT-300 is also our most advance technology and has a secure programmable animal identification that requires special software to decode. The temperature sensor located on the chip also can only be decoded by BMDS readers.
How are the transponders implanted and is anesthesia required?
Location sight is left up to you (animal type and research may limit the sight selection but generally anywhere you can implant subcutaneously, you will be able to inject the transponder.) This can be a two-person procedure with one person restraining and the other injecting. However, many researchers are comfortable handling, injecting, and perform procedure solo.
Most animal protocols and IACUCs consider the implant procedure as a simple injection. Anesthesia is not required unless specified by the facility veterinarian. A Note: Using anesthesia will be slightly more difficult to inject since the animals will be unconscious and lack muscle tone. Injecting through loose skin is more difficult in these instances.
What is the shelf-life of a sterilized transponders?
The CDC indicates that shelf life can be managed by using either Dates or Event-related practice. An Event-related approach recognizes that the product should remain sterile until some event causes the item to become contaminated (barrier is breached or gets wet, etc.). Hence, if the transponders haven’t been opened (needle cap removed) or gotten the packaging wet, etc. they can be considered still sterile. We do provide a date of ETO sterilization for facilities that have use SOP guidelines for expiration dates on sterile supplies.
How safe are BMDS animal transponders?
BMDS animal transponders have been tested in a two-year chronic study and the results concluded that … “No inflammatory reaction was present. The reaction is considered to be completely non-adverse.”BMDS has sold transponders for over 30 years with no negative reports in those years. If an aseptic technique is used at implantation, the inflammatory response should be negligible, even with compromised animals.
Why are there two USB connections on all your scanners?
Keyboard USB (also known as HID USB) allows for quick connection to any computer (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android) for data transfer of scanned information. It does not require a driver or additional software to communicate. In some ways, it is acting like a keyboard connection to your computer. Hence the name, Keyboard USB.
Serial USB requires a special serial USB driver which we provide for Windows PC only. Serial USB is a much faster and secure two-way communication connection and is required to be used for our DASHost software. Serial USB is also used to complete a connection with most data collection system since it assigns a unique ID COM Port assignment required for communication security.
Can the scanner be used around metal?
You can use the scanner around metal with the following two points to consider:
1) Radio waves will not pass through metal. If trying to read in a cage, work the signal through the largest opening. On primate cages this is usually in the door area. You will likely find an area where the vertical bars are open for at least 6 to 8 inches. This is where you will be able to get a read. Grids that are small (1″ x 1″) you will not.
2) Don’t make it a habit to put the scanner on a metal surface WHILE it is in the scan mode (attempting to read a transponder). The slight electrical current in the metal will make the scanner think there is a transponder in the field and attempt to read it. This will use more battery power and over time will de-tune the scanner causing a shorter and shorter read distance. Eventually you will have trouble reading the transponder and the scanner will need to come in for tuning service.
Can the transponder be programmed to take temp data every few minutes?
The transponder system is built on radio waves sent from the scanner and received by the transponder in the animal. When the scanner is in scan mode it continually sends out a radio frequency wave from the probe. Any time the probe and transponder get close enough to communicate you will get a reading. If you hold the probe within read distance you will get a reading about every 2 seconds. However, there is not a method to set the scanner to turn on in set intervals to automatically collect data. Also, the animal needs to be within 3” and not moving to complete a scan. Continuous collection of animal temperature data is therefore not completely practical at the current time and technology capabilities.
Can you help me justify the cost of the transponders?
Cost justification is always tricky especially if the transponder cost more than the animal. The best way to look at the cost of transponders is not as a one time capital expense but as a per diem expense. Ask yourself how much time does it take to tattoo or ear tag or notch my animals? How much time are you spending looking at tattoos or ear tags or notches and writing the ID down? How much time does it take to maintain that form of ID? Combine that with what is it worth to have a secure and permanent form of ID? Have you ever not been able to positively read a tattoo (“…is that a 3 or an 8?”)? Ear tags fall out and notches fill in. If you’ve ever confused a control animal with a dose animal, you know that can kill the study. If you are using the IMI transponder at $7.25 in a 90-day study that comes out to $0.08 per day: in a yearlong study that’s $0.02 per day. Almost always when you look at it in these terms the cost is justifiable.
How big (small) are the transponders?
The IMI-1000 and IPT-300/IPTT-300 are similar in size. The length and diameter are 11mm x 2.2mm and 14mm x 2.2mm respectively. The transponder’s weight is approximately 60mg (0.002 oz) for the IMI-1000 and 120mg (0.004 oz) for the IPT-300 and IPTT-300 transponder family.
We now have a smaller IMI-400 & IMI-500 transponder that is only 6mm x 1.4mm and 8mm x 1.4mm uses the same reader technology as the current IMI-1000 transponder. The smaller transponder will allow implant into day-old mice pups and immunocompromised models. The injection is now much easier with the BMDS designed 15-gauge trocar applicator needle.
Can Transponders be re-used?
With no moving parts and no battery, the transponder will work for years. But if you try to reuse it you will have to clean and sterilize it. The chip is inside a glass capsule that is coated with a polymer to allow tissue to adhere to it. This keeps the transponder from migrating inside the animal. When you clean the transponder you will have to remove tissue from the capsule. This will remove the polymer making the transponder prone to migrate. Also in doing that you may compromise the integrity of the capsule meaning that the electronics may short-out by body fluids when re-implanted. The work required to clean and re-sterilize transponders outweigh the cost of a new, fresh unit. For these reasons we strongly discourage reusing the transponders.
It is suggested that a better use of the transponders post-life is to remove the transponder with a tissue sample and keep it for long term storage either frozen or in liquid preservative. Years later you can scan the tissue sample and get the data stored on the transponder.
Can I scan and collect data directly into my computer … say into Microsoft Excel?
Our scanners can connect to any computer (Windows and Mac) using the keyboard USB connection. Once connected, you only need to open your software to start the data stream or transmit collected saved data.
However, in order to fully use the system, you will need a Windows-compatible PC to use DASHost. DASHost is used to program the animal ID on our IPT-300 and IPTT-300 transponders. DASHost is also used to load user assigned ID map files for all our family of transponders. With map files, you will be able to assign an additional user-specified code or supplement the random 10-digit code on the IMI-1000 and IMI-500 transponder with your own unique ID code. Mapping is a software solution for assigning animal ID versus the encryption of animal ID as done with the IPT-300 and IPTT-300 programmable transponders. BMDS is the only manufacturer with mapping to make use of transponders in research more user friendly.
What then about ISO, FDX and HDX compatible transponders?
These types of transponders are commonly used with pets and farm livestock. They are a uniform standard that will allow for reading with a variety of readers from various manufacturers. These transponders are read-only and will display a preprogrammed ID. The technology is extremely simple and does not provide the needed security for animal research.
Are there any concerns about the migration of the chip inside the animal-like other transponders on the market?
The BMDS transponder is made up of a microchip enclosed in a glass capsule. The capsule is coated with a polymer cap to allow the tissue to adhere to it. This keeps the transponder from migrating inside the animal. Within 24 hours enough tissue has adhered to the polymer and the transponder is set in place. Early on in the development of the transponder line, there was concern about migration so the polymer was added and today migration is not a concern of customers using the transponders.
How accurate is the IPTT-300 and how is the temperature calibrated?
The temperature range is calibrated from 35°C to 39°C and is displayed in 0.1-degree increments at +/- 0.4-degree accuracy within those ranges. Temperature is registered outside the range but the accuracy diminishes.
We also have an extended calibrated HTEC IPTT-300 transponder that has an increased accuracy from 34°C to 42°C of +/- 0.2-degree accuracy. This is the preferred transponder to use for all metabolism or other temperature-related studies.
Are the transponders MRI safe and will they still work after going through a MRI scan?
Yes. Although our transponders do contain some ferrous material, they can be categorized as MR-Conditional. The ferrous material makes them slightly magnetic but they are insufficient in amount to result in any concerns for the machine nor the animal. Our device can, therefore, be placed in most MRI machines and will be readable again once outside the magnetic field. There is no corruption of the transponder functions.
I’m in the middle of nowhere and I’d like to get a demo.
We don’t have a representative on in your area yet and I don’t know when I can get there to demo our product line. If you think you will purchase the system but want to make sure it’s what you think it is prior to owning it we can do the following:
- Issue a company purchase order to BMDS for the scanner and other items you want to purchase.
- We will send out the equipment on a 30-day trial basis.
- If after the 30 days you decide it’s not what you thought send it back and we’ll throw out the PO.
- If you like it we will process the PO and you keep the equipment.
Before we do that we need to talk about what you need and see which scanner and which transponder works best for your application.
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You can always reach us via our toll-Free number below.