Student Research

Validating temperature capsules (VitalSense®) in domestic animals for core temperature and gastrointestinal motility applications

Ingestible temperature capsules provide alimentary canal luminal temperature throughout their passage. This has the potential, depending on location, to more closely approximate core body temperature. The passage rate of these capsules may also reflect gastrointestinal (GI) motility or transit time. Major adaptive modifications have evolved in the alimentary canal design of non-human species. There has been limited use of these capsules in animals. The purpose of this study is to validate the use of VitalSense® Core Temperature Capsules (Equivital, Inc) in domesticated species. Animals were fitted with external wireless receivers that communicate wirelessly with the capsules every 15 sec. The capsules were then administered orally and monitored using a data acquisition system (LabChart®; ADInstruments, Inc.) until the temperature reading indicated a return to near ambient temperature (complete passage). Results were interpreted with published reference ranges on body temperature and GI transit time for each species. Temperature data as well as transit time was recorded and compared within and between animal species. Understanding the utility and limitations of this technology will help clarify applications for these temperature capsules in research and veterinary medicine.