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Thermal Gradient Ring (TGR)

Product Code:35550

Records and analyses thermal preference phenotyping in mice, according to Zimmermann's method. For neuropathic pain studies, temperature sensitivity and insensitivity assessment, always with the animal freely moving and with no user’s intervention.

Novel circular design. Addresses limitations associated with classic devices. Cost effective. Reproducible data.

This product warranty can be extended up to 24 Additional Months.
Discover more HERE!


  • The cellular and molecular mechanisms of temperature sensing and thermoregulation are the subject of intensive studies in neuropathic pain.
  • The novel circular thermal gradient assay opens new opportunities and addresses limitations imposed by other equipment (lack of animal freedom, limited thermal choice, inability to make discerning exploratory behaviour, experimental biases). 
  • The TGR is based on the paper "Comprehensive thermal Preference Phenotyping in Mice using a Novel Automated Circular Gradient Assay”

Novel device, bias-free data, cost effective

  • Circular design for bias-free, reproducible data. The mouse is free to move around the track. Overcomes classic challenges of duplicate values, border effects and spatial cues.
  • Circular gradient track provides a more complex, more informative physiological environment than devices limited to dual thermal preference. 
  • Multi thermal gradient between the two extremes of a cold and a hot zone (respectively 15° and 40°C in Zimmermann's paper). The insulated aluminium runway has an ID of 45cm and 57cm OD. 
  • Each side of the ring is divided into 12 zones, in which the temperature Δ is proportionally divided. For example, in the method paper, the two preset temperatures are respectively 15°C and 40°C, where each sector represents an increment of 2.27°C
  • Cost effective advantages such as shorter experiment time, reduced requirement for manpower and mice.
  • A heating and a heating/cooling device (based on proven technology employed in Ugo Basile Hot/Cold Plate), are positioned on opposite sides of the ring to create a symmetrical thermal gradient. 4 embedded thermocouples measure and control the exact temperature gradient in real time.
  • Data output includes:
    • Preference temperature time course ± SD
    • Time lag to cover zones above a defined temperature (time course)
    • Zone histogram
    • Many more measures provided by the automatic analysis of the video tracking data
  • Visual thermal preference behaviour is recorded by ANYmaze video tracking software using the USB camera and 4 dual lights (visible and I.R.) supplied with the system.




New circular design, internal diameter 45cm, outer diameter 57cm

Duplicate values, no border effects, no spatial cues

Thermal Insulated Ring-shaped Aluminum Runway

More sensitive than previous methods: bias-free, reproducible data

Heater and cooler on opposite sides, to establish a symmetric gradient

Gradient setup superior to two-plate choice design

12 zones per side (specular), 40cm2 each

Temperature Δ proportionally divided into 12 (in the method paper 15°C-40°C = 2.27°C per zone)

4 thermocouples embedded in the thermal gradient ring

The exact temperature gradient measured in real time

CCD-camera (included in the standard package, with its dedicated support) and ANYmaze video-tracking software

Behavior recorded automatically during 60 minutes

The system includes a set of 4 dual (visible/I.R.) lights Ideal for videotracking: perfect view even in the dark



Commands on the heater/cooler front panel

Preset Temperature Read-out

On LCD display on the front panel of the thermal units


Via ANY maze specific protocol for TGR


< 60 dB (A)


Universal input 85-264 VAC, 50-60Hz, 40W max



Temperature Range

Heating Plate: from 20°C to 65°C

Heating/cooling Plate: from 4°C to 65°C

Precision 0.5°C
Temperature feedback By 4 thermocouples monitored in real time by ANYmaze
Light Intensity (I.R.) Set by potentiometer with graded scale
Light Intensity (visible) Set by potentiometer with graded scale



Internal diameter 45 cm
Outer diameter 57,5 cm
Corridor Width 6 cm

Wall Height

24 cm

Material IR transparent acrylic





Shipping Weight


Packing Dimensions

100x80x70(h)cm (wooden pallet)



Warranty 35550 is covered by a 12-months warranty + 12 months after product registration
UB-Care Additional UB-Care can be added for other 12 or 24 months

"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. The assay delivers discrete information on a large range of parameters extracted from the occupancy of thermally defined zones such as preference temperature and skew of the distribution. We demonstrate that the assay allows increasingly accurate phenotyping of thermal sensitivity in transgenic mice by disclosing yet unrecognized details on the phenotypes of TRPM8-, TRPA1- and TRPM8/A1-deficient mice."

from "Comprehensive thermal preference phenotyping in mice using a novel automated circular gradient assay"

35550 Thermal Gradient Ring


Runway and Thermal Device Assembly

35550-035 Visibile and IR Light
35550-050 Light and Camera Support
35550-325 Camera
E-AU 101 USB Key including Instruction Manual



Dedicated Video-tracking Software

F. Touska Z. Winter, A. Mueller, V. Vlachova, J. Larsen and Katharina Zimmermann: "Comprehensive thermal preference phenotyping in mice using a novel automated circular gradient assay" Journal Temperature, Volume 3, 2016 - Issue 1

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