A fully implantable multi-channel biotelemetry system for measurement of blood flow and temperature: a first evaluation in the green sturgeon
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- Gräns, A., Axelsson, M., Pitsillides, K. et al. Hydrobiologia (2009) 619: 11. doi:10.1007/s10750-008-9578-7
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The objective of this study was to evaluate a novel fully implantable radio-based blood flow biotelemetry system which allows simultaneously measurement of blood flow on two channels and temperature on one channel, in fish. These are the first recordings of blood flow from free-swimming fish, showing that the system is capable of recording blood flow in the ventral aorta (cardiac output) and celiacomesenteric artery (gastrointestinal blood flow) in green sturgeon Acipenser medirostris exposed to a series of different stimuli for up to 7 days after implantation. The results showed stable base line recordings and blood flow was used to calculated heart rate (fH) and stroke volume (Vs). It was possible to reproduce the same type of responses as has previously been reported during exposure to hypoxia, temperature, stress and feeding. The mass of our implant was less than 2% of the body mass which is well within the recommended sizes for surgically implanted telemetry transmitters and it fitted easily within the abdominal cavity of the sturgeon. A fully implantable system minimizes the risk of infection/expulsion and maximizes the likelihood that the studied fish will behave naturally and be treated normally by surrounding fish. The use of biotelemetry in basic comparative physiology and applied animal ecology could help scientists to collect information that has previously been challenging to obtain and to open the possibility for new types of physiological and ecophysiological studies.