Test methods are used in experiments to define the types of observation, treatment, intervention or measurement that is to be conducted. These include examples such as dosing, tissue collections, observations such as body condition scores, gait analysis or necropsy.
Test methods will have been pre-defined and loaded into the system by your System Administrator. Please contact your System Administrator is your experiment requires a new observation, measurement, treatment or procedure.
Test methods are organised in 2 categories:
To add a Test Method to an Experiment, click on the Add button.
Adding a Test Method
The Title of the Test enables you to define the specific variable information relating to the Experimental group, such as dosing level, cell line or even implantation site. If you are blinding your study, you can name your Test Method will a unique reference value to cross refer to your study variable which could be held in an offline file.
Select the Test Method from the database list which is maintained by your System Administrator.
Depending on which type of Test Method you select, the next set of fields will vary. There are 3 main types:
- Free text
- As shown in the example above, this type of Test Method does not require any further definition. On the Results input field, this type of method enables you to record a free form value, such as a Score (e.g. an MSG score or Body condition score), an Observation result etc.
- Measurement area
- For experiments which require the capture of a length, width, height, area (square area) or volume (cubic value), Test Methods will have been defined with one or more input values to achieve the necessary result value to be captured.
- Measurement weight
- For experiments where the capture of weight value is required, the Test Method will have been defined to capture a weight as a mass value.
Defining a Test Method schedule
When defining a Test Method as part of an experiment, you can specify the period during which the Test Method should be performed (the start and end date) as well as the Frequency and Timing.
When animals have been enrolled to the Experiment and the Study is saved, Ai.Study will automatically generate a complete set of scheduled tasks for each animal and each Test Method for the period set in this Schedule section.
- The timing of experiments has been demonstrated as a potential confounding variable, so care should be taken in choosing the date, time and frequency when scheduling experiments. Particular care should be given to animal circadian patterns and even post cage change acclimatisation considerations.
- The dates and times of the tasks generated from the Test Method schedule will be set for the time zone in which the animal is housed, so the local time for the animal NOT the local time for the end user if they are in a different time zone.
Defining a Test Method frequency
The Frequency options are:
- Every 2 weeks
- If you need to perform an experiment, such as an observation or PK related blood draw, more than once per day, you should define more than one Test Method, with the same Test Method type, but perhaps entitled to distinguish the timing of the experiment, with each version timed appropriately.
Defining a Test Method timing
This option enables you to define a specific time period within a 24 hour period that you want the Test Method to be performed. The task generated by the system with have a time set at the last minute.
As indicated earlier, care should be given to the animals circadian rhythm with regard to timing of experimental conduct. Also, where a Test Method is to be repeated more than once in a 24 hour period, ensure the correct time period is defined for each Test Method.
When to use Animal Test Methods
A Test Method in the Animal category, specifies the body part to which the observation, treatment or procedure pertains and the species. Therefore, it is recommended that test methods that pertain to specific body parts and / or species should be created under the Animal category.
When to use Other Test Methods
A Test Method in the Other category, provides a freeform text description that describes the observation, treatment or procedure SOP. The freeform text can also be used to describe the composition of compounds and provide hyperlinks to catalogue information online.