Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 43, Issue 8, pp 1957–1964 | Cite as

Vibrating Frequency Thresholds in Mice and Rats: Implications for the Effects of Vibrations on Animal Health

  • Karyne N. Rabey
  • Yao Li
  • John N. Norton
  • Randall P. Reynolds
  • Daniel Schmitt


Vibrations in research facilities can cause complex animal behavioral and physiological responses that can affect animal health and research outcomes. The goal of this study was to determine the range of frequency values, where animals are unable to attenuate vibrations, and therefore may be most susceptible to their effects. Anesthetized and euthanized adult rats and mice were exposed to vibration frequencies over a wide range (0–600 Hz) and at a constant magnitude of 0.3 m/s2. Euthanized animals were additionally exposed to vibrations at an acceleration of 1 m/s2. The data showed that at most frequencies rodents were able to attenuate vibration magnitudes, with values for the back-mounted accelerometer being substantially less than that of the table. At frequencies of 41–60 Hz mice did not attenuate vibration magnitude, but instead the magnitude of the table and animal were equal or amplified. Rats experienced the same pattern of non-attenuation between 31 and 50 Hz. Once euthanized, the mice vibrated at a slightly more elevated frequency (up to 100 Hz). Based on these results, it may be prudent that in laboratory settings, vibrations in the ranges reported here should be accounted for as possible contributors to animal stress and/or biomechanical changes.


Whole-body vibrations Rodents Resonance frequency range Sensitivity frequency range Animal health 



We would like to thank Pramodh Ganapathy, Jozsef Bordas, and Drs. Roxanne Larsen and Charlotte Miller for their help and support throughout this project. This study was funded by the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science Grants for Laboratory Animal Science (GLAS) and the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine Foundation Grants.


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karyne N. Rabey
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yao Li
    • 2
  • John N. Norton
    • 2
  • Randall P. Reynolds
    • 2
  • Daniel Schmitt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Evolutionary AnthropologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.The Division of Laboratory Animal ResourcesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Evolutionary AnthropologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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