Metabolic Core

Dr. Banks is also the director of the Harvard Medical School and BIDMC Energy Balance Core, a facility designed for the complete measurement of energy intake, nutritional status, and energy expenditure in experimental mice.



This equipment consists of a 24-cage temperature-controlled Sable Systems Promethion Indirect Calorimetry System and a 16-cage Comprehensive Lab Animal Monitoring System (CLAMS) with environmental controls, which allows for powerful research and discovery, particularly in common metabolic disorders that include obesity, type 2 diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. We perform indirect calorimetry in unrestrained, conscious mice, yielding quantitative measurements of oxygen consumption (VO2), carbon dioxide production (VCO2), respiratory exchange ratio – an indicator of substrate utilization – and total energy expenditure. It also provides measures of basal locomotor activity, and exercise tolerance, as well as caloric intake. Our indirect calorimeters are specialized, allowing for the precise control of ambient temperature ranging from thermoneutrality (30°C) to cold (4°C). The use of indirect calorimetry in our studies has revealed profound changes in energy substrate utilization and induction of thermogenesis in multiple mouse models. Our facility allows for the study of up to 40 mice at a time allowing for multiple simultaneous experiments. The waitlist is typically booked 1-3 months in advance.

Our other instrumentation allows for noninvasive quantitation of whole-body fat and lean mass (EchoMRI and DEXA), thermal heat radiation (FLIR camera), and energy consumed but not absorbed (fecal bomb calorimetry). We have also newly introduced continuous glucose monitoring with DSI HD-XG system.


Composition of the core:

  • 24 cage Sable Systems Promethion Indirect Calorimeter
  • 16 cage CLAMS Indirect Calorimeter
  • 24 DSI HD-XG Continous Glucose Monitoring 
  • EchoMRI
  • DEXA Scanner
  • PARR bomb calorimeter
  • FLIR thermal imaging camera


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