>October 2020

Sylics starts-up a new location to expand our services and to support your CNS disease research

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and again rising infection numbers is affecting all of us personally and our businesses. In this situation, Sylics is focused to continue and expand our support for clients and partners in CNS research. The opening of a new location ensures that we are able to offer you our full range of CNS screening services even during these challenging times. At this new location will be able to broaden our services portfolio and to be more flexible to meet the needs of you, our customers. More information will follow in due time.

>September 2020

Sylics stands for efficient and high quality drug screening

Tight timelines? Are you in need to have a drug screening study finished before the end of the year to comply with deadlines or your annual budget? At Sylics, we understand that time efficiency is crucial for drug screening and requires lean and systematic procedures. Sylics routinely runs drug-screening studies with short turnaround times while providing outstanding quality. For a typical study, three months after signing a contract you will receive a report on the effect of your compound on spontaneous behavior or cognitive performance in our automated home-cage systems. When you choose to work with Sylics, you can be sure that we manage and oversee every aspect of your study, provide high quality results and provide you access to all raw data via our cloud based data analysis platform.efficient and high quality drug screening

>August 2020

Relevant autism and mental retardation related changes in the Fmr1 knockout mouse

In humans, the absence of the FMR1 protein leads to Fragile X syndrome, mental retardation and neurodevelopmental delays. The Fmr1 knockout mouse model is perceived as highly translational relevant due to the genetic and phenotypic similarities with patients. These phenotypes make the Fmr1 KO mouse a valuable model for mental retardation and autism related drug-screening studies. If you would like to receive more information about the model or discuss a study design using this model, please reach out to us.

>May 2020

The 22q11 mouse model available at Sylics shows robust Schizophrenia-relevant deficits

Sylics characterized an accepted model in the field of schizophrenia research based on a microdeletion in the orthologous human 22q11.2 locus. In humans, a microdeletion of the 22q11.2 locus leads to a 20-fold increased risk for schizophrenia. Mouse models of this 22q11.2 deletion syndrome are perceived as highly translational relevant due to the genetic and phenotypic similarities between the mouse model and patients. At Sylics, using our own tests and protocols, we have validated the presence of relevant behavioral changes that were reported by the creators of this model (link). For instance, we found deficits in sensorimotor gating measured as the percentage of prepulse inhibition (PPI) of a startle response in this model (see Figure above). Furthermore, we detected significant deficits in working memory performance in terms of re-entry errors in the 8-arm radial maze. These and other phenotypes make this mouse line a good model for schizophrenia related drug screening studies. If you would like to receive more information about the model or discuss a study design using this model please reach out to reach out to us.

>April 2020

Sylics is comitted to support CNS disease research, also during these challenging times

The outbreak of COVID-19 affects all of us worldwide in an unprecedented manner. This requires us all to prioritize care and take disruptive measures to stop spread of the virus. While the worldwide focus will remain on COVID-19 for the next few months, at Sylics we continue to support our clients and partners in CNS research in the best way possible. For this reason, we have implemented procedures to mitigate risk of spread of COVID-19. These measures allow us to continue already initiated drug efficacy and behavioral screening studies and initiate new studies. If you are planning new studies, or if you have any questions about collaborations or our products feel free to reach out to us.

>October 2019

Mouse models: Alzheimer’s disease and seeding of tau pathology

An Alzheimer’s Disease mouse model induced by ‘seeding’ of tau pathology may more closely mimic human tau pathology in comparison to transgenic tauopathy mouse models that overexpress human tau with frontotemporal dementia-linked mutations. At the SfN meeting in Chicago, together with our collaborators, we presented recent data comparing the emergence of AT8 positive Tau (see below) after seeding with various tau seeds in different mouse lines. We also investigated whether tau seeding affected cognitive performance of mice using various conventional cognitive tests as well as our automated CognitionWall test.

>March 2019

Recent publication: Alzheimer’s disease mouse model shows deficit in nesting behavior

Why is nest building relevant to Alzheimer’s disease you might ask? Deterioration in the ability to perform “Activities of daily living” (ADL) is an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Examples of ADL are dressing or preparing meals, which are complex, multi-step activities that require a variety of cognitive functions including memory. Analogously, building a nest is a complex, multi-step activity for a mouse. In a recent publication by our collaborators and us, we show that a commonly used Alzheimer mouse model (5xFAD) shows a strong deficit in the capability to build a nest (see the figure below). We use a published standardized protocol to assess nest building behavior and typically perform this test in combination with conventional tests such as the Morris Water Maze and our automated behavioral screening system to measure cognitive performance. If you are interested in these tests, please contact us.

>June 2018

Sylics will attend Measuring Behavior in Manchester

On June 6-8, Sylics will be present at the 11th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research in Manchester, United Kingdom. Manchester will be the stage for the latest inventions, prototypes, and techniques in behavioral research.

>May 2018

Updated privacy policy

In order to comply with the new GDPR regulation, Sylics has updated it’s privacy statement to give a clear overview of which personal data is used for what reason. You can find this policy on our website (at the bottom of every page) or by clicking on this link. Of course we would like to keep you updated on relevant news by sending this periodical newsletter, but if you no longer wish to receive these e-mails, there is a link at the bottom of every newsletter to unsubscribe directly, no questions asked.

>April 2018

Evidence for cognitive aging in mice using the CognitionWall protocol

In the April issue of GeroScience researchers from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) published a study describing the cognitive performance of aging mice using the CognitionWall protocol in the PhenoTyper. Using this automated test developed by Sylics, the authors found that both initial discrimination and reversal learning are significantly decreased with age in C57 animals at 6, 21, and 27 months of age (see the figure below and this link). Besides cognitive function, this paper also describes the spontaneous activity measurements of the aged animals over a 90 hour period. As the authors state in the article, “These tests alleviate many of the on-going concerns with behavioral testing and simultaneously provide new endpoints that are relevant to measure in human subjects that are associated with physical performance, disability, and cognitive decline.”

>February 2018

Sylics attends BIO Spring in Amsterdam

Delegates of Sylics are present at the BIO Europe Spring in Amsterdam from 12-14 March.

>August 2017

New publication: the role of ErbB4 in attention and inhibitory control in schizophrenia

Sylics has participated in the EU funded IN-SENS Program. This has recently resulted in a publication in Genes, Brain and Behaviour on the role of the receptor tyrosine kinase ErbB4 in attention and inhibitory control, two aspects of executive functions that are impaired in schizophrenia. We investigated the effects of constitutive loss of ErbB4 in the central nervous system of mice on performance in a 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT) assessing attention and inhibitory control. If you would like to know more, please read the full article here or contact us directly.

> May 2017

Sylics receives certificate for “Good Research Practice”

We are proud to announce that Sylics received the “Good Research Practice” certificate (PAASPort) from Partnership for Assessment and Accreditation of Scientific Practice (PAASP). Robustness of preclinical data is the key to success in pharmaceutical R&D. Data quality of contract research is not properly secured by current laboratory service agreements nor by current GLP procedures. PAASP is an independent expert organization for assessment of research practice. In the audit procedure of PAASP potential sources of bias were addressed. This confirmed that Sylics has everything in place to generate preclinical data of the highest quality.

> April 2017

New publication: Sylics AHCODA-DB

Our Chief Technology Officer has published a paper about AHCODA-DB, describing a public data repository of mouse phenomics data with standardized quality control and exclusion criteria aimed to enhance robustness of data. See the full article here:

> March 2017

Sylics presents automated behavioural screening tools at AD/PD 2017

Together with our partner Noldus, we will showcase tools for automated behavioural screening at the AD/PD 2017 in Vienna (March 29-April 2). These include automated tests targeting different behavioural domains in rodents, including cognition, anxiety and motor function. Sylics will also present cloud-based data storage, analysis and visualisation tools for data acquired with PhenoTyper automated home cages. We are convinced that the automated capturing and analysis of data enhances the quality of preclinical data. You can find us in booth #23 and at poster board #101.

> December 2016

AHCODA chosen as data analysis platform by EU-AIMS consortium

Our AHCODA platform will be used for storage, analysis and comparison of rat behavioural data acquired within EU-AIMS, an extensive European research project with the aim to find new methods for the development of drugs for autism spectrum disorder. To facilitate standardized analysis of a broad range of behavioural parameters and easy comparison of data from different test sites, EU-AIMS partners will use AHCODA for analysis of specific datasets. We look forward to contribute to this project.

> November 2016

Sylics’ AHCODA database wins the Dutch Data Prize

We are proud to announce that our AHCODA-DB won the Dutch Data Prize in the category medical and life sciences. Our public database, holding published as well as unpublished behavioural data of dozens of mouse strains and mutants obtained in publically funded research projects, was appreciated for its very rich dataset, excellent interface, and pioneering role in data sharing.

Ten years of development of AHCODA, paralleled by behavioural testing of over 100 mouse lines, yielded this multifunctional platform for the analysis of rodent behaviour (testing protocols, database and cloud-based analysis software). AHCODA automates data analysis, allows meta-analyses across sites, studies and models, and generates graphs and statistical analyses of datasets of interest in a matter of seconds.


> October 2016

New publication: CognitionWall discrimination and reversal learning

Automation can greatly benefit standardization and efficiency of behavioural testing. Our recent paper in Learning & Memory describes the assessment of discrimination learning and cognitive flexibility without prior food restriction, extended training periods and labor-intensive animal handling, using models of synaptic dysfunction, cognitive decline and cognitive inflexibility. Sylics can help you set up automated behavioural screening in your facility, or perform these experiments for you for example as part of in vivo efficacy studies.


> September 2016

Sylics presents automated behavioural screening tools at SfN 2016

Together with our partner Noldus, Sylics will showcase tools for automated behavioural screening at the upcoming Society for Neuroscience in San Diego. These include highly optimized automated tests to assess cognition, anxiety and motor function in rodents, as well as cloud-based data storage, analysis and visualisation tools for data acquired with PhenoTyper automated home cages. You can find us in booth 1029.

Rodents on the loose! Find them all!

There are some mice and rats on the loose at Neuroscience 2016… You can find nine magnets at a select group of partners, so visit our booths to collect them all and take this fun family home with you! Once you have all 9, take a picture and post on Twitter or Instagram with #SfN16 and #partnersinneuroscience for a chance to win an iPad!


> September 2016

AHCODA tools for behavioural screening nominated for Dutch data prize

We are proud that our AHCODA database, consisting of behavioural profiles of many mouse strains and mutant mouse lines, is chosen as one of the three finalists in the category “Medical and life sciences” of the Dutch data prize, awarded by SURFsara. Winners will be announced later this year.

> September 2016

LSH-FES symposia on November 23rd

The innovative work of NeuroBasic and five other research consortia of the LSH-FES program will be presented at a symposium in the Beatrix Building of Jaarbeurs Utrecht, on November 23rd. Within the NeuroBasic consortium, Sylics set up a number of novel automated behavioural tests and collected behavioural profiles of many mouse lines and compounds using its tools for automated behavioural screening.

> June 2016

Sylics attends the 17th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery

On 12-13 September, Sylics is present at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery in Jersey City, NJ.

> April 2016

Sylics attends BIO Spring, ADDF Drug Discovery for Neurodegeneration conference and BIO Convention 2016

Delegates of Sylics are present at the BIO Europe Spring in Stockholm from 4-6 April, the first European Drug Discovery for Neurodegeneration conference in Budapest from 15-17 May, and the BIO International Convention 2016 in San Francisco from 6-9 June.


> February 2016

The Netherlands in Shanghai: Scientific seminar on Behavioural Screening

The Holland Innovation Network, together with Noldus Information Technology and Sylics, organized a scientific seminar about Innovative technology for in vivo pharmacology and rodent behavioral phenotyping. The seminar addressed the state-of-the-art in automated behavioral screening, from the perspective of academia, contract research organizations and the pharmaceutical industry. Distinguished Chinese and Dutch speakers shared their experiences and insights, showcasing practical applications and best practices. This included innovative technologies developed in Dutch academia and biotech that are revolutionizing behavioural screening, ready for exploitation by Chinese partners. 

This week Noldus Information Technology and Sylics are visiting various companies in Shanghai active in this field, to discuss opportunities for collaboration and to expand business.

Source: Maarten in Shanghai_2016_v2 copy   > October 2015

Sylics and Noldus combine forces for automated behavioural screening

Sylics recently signed a strategic partnership agreement with Noldus Information Technology, a company developing software and hardware for behavioural research based in Wageningen, The Netherlands. With both companies providing innovative solutions for preclinical neuroscience, this partnership opens up new opportunities for integrated and automated behavioural screening for scientists worldwide. partnership-sylics-noldus Integrated solution Noldus and Sylics combined forces and developed a complete solution consisting of PhenoTyper® home-cage monitoring, EthoVision® XT video tracking, and AHCODA™ testing protocols and cloud-based data analysis. This facilitates the 24/7 assessment of cognition, anxiety, and motor function in rodents in a home-cage environment, guarantees high quality data, and provides comprehensive graphs and statistics. New CognitionWall This partnership also entails the reselling of the CognitionWall™ by Noldus as a new add-on for the PhenoTyper home-cage. The CognitionWall was designed and validated by researchers at Sylics for sophisticated cognitive tests, such as discrimination and reversal learning. These tests can be used for rapid, sensitive, and reproducible assessment of cognitive impairments in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. Research advances PhenoTyper is an instrumented cage that can be used for home-cage testing, allowing prolonged studies and minimal or no handling of animals prior to testing. EthoVision XT software provides the tracking and activity recording of the animals, and delivers an extensive data set. For straight-forward testing (such as activity, locomotion, etc.), data selection and statistical analyses provided by EthoVision XT suffice, but for a more sophisticated analysis of rodent behaviour, AHCODA provides the ideal solution. It can be used to dissect spontaneous behaviour in great detail, evaluate cognitive function and anxiety, and other disease-specific behavioural parameters. This makes the complete solution of Noldus and Sylics particularly suited for the integral analysis of many behavioural parameters with the aim to detect behavioural effects induced by genetic mutations, chemical compounds and environmental manipulations. Examples and demonstrations Examples of research can be found at and The system will also be demonstrated at Neuroscience 2015 the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Chicago, 17-21 October), as well as BIO Europe (Munich, 2-4 November).

> August 2015

Sylics and partners awarded Horizon 2020 grant

Through collaboration between outstanding European academic and industry groups, the project will improve and apply our knowledge of the comorbid basis and clinical overlap of schizophrenia, autism, and intellectual disability. In addition to the overall coordination of the project, Sylics will contribute its expertise with behavioural phenotyping and in vivo efficacy studies – in particular with testing novel compounds using our automated behavioural screening platform AHCODA.


> July 2015

Meet Sylics at selected conferences in late 2015

Sylics will be present at the EBBS & EBPS Joint Meeting from 12-15 September 2015 in Verona, the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Annual Meeting from 17-21 October 2015 in Chicago, and the BIO Europe from 2-4 November 2015 in Munich.

> June 2015

Publications: new papers on automated screening

The LightSpot test, our automated anxiety test that enables easy and standardized screening of pharmacological compounds, is now published in Behavioural Brain Research. A second paper applied our sophisticated analysis of spontaneous behaviour in an automated home-cage to evaluate within-strain variation in commonly-used mouse strains.

The light spot test: measuring anxiety in mice in an automated home-cage environment. Aarts, Loos et al., Behav Brain Res. 2015 doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.06.011 Within-strain variation in behavior differs consistently between common inbred strains of mice. Loos et al., Mamm Genome. 2015 Jun 28.

> June 2015

Sylics attends the BIO Convention in Philadelphia

On 15-18 June, Sylics is present at the BIO International Convention 2015 in Philadelphia.

> May 2015

New Sylics website

We are proud to present our new website, which showcases both Sylics’ contract research services and our automated behavioural screening platform AHCODA™. > March 2015

Sylics attends the BIO Europe Spring in Paris

Sylics is available for partnering at the BIO Europe Spring 2015, held in Paris from 9-11 March.

> February 2015

Sylics present at the AD/PD 2015

Sylics is represented at the 12th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases that takes place in Nice from 18-22 March. We present a novel screening protocol for automated home-cages that can be used to identify behavioural changes in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. Recent data show that increased amyloid-β levels lead to specific age-dependent phenotypes, making it possible to distinguish between early and late consequences of amyloid-β toxicity. These results indicate that automated screening facilitates the analysis of behaviour with high sensitivity and reproducibility and can greatly contribute to research in the field of neurodegenerative disease.

> January 2015

Publication: Novel automated operant conditioning test

Our paper describing a novel appetitive operant conditioning test for automated home-cages is accepted for publication. This test is available for our customers. Data will soon be available in our public database.

A 1-night operant learning task without food-restriction differentiates among mouse strains in an automated home-cage environment. Remmelink et al., Behav Brain Res. 2015; doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.01.020

> November 2014

Sylics attends the Society for Neuroscience 2014

On 15-19 November, Sylics is present at the SfN 2014 in Washington, DC.

> November 2014

Sylics attends BIO Europe 2014

Delegates of Sylics are present at the BIO Europe conference in Frankfurt from 3-5 November.

> September 2014

Publication: Spontaneous behaviour dissected

A new publication describes the dissection of spontaneous behaviour measured in an automated home-cage into many behavioural parameters. This method facilitates a very sensitive analysis of the effects of chemical compounds and the phenotyping of novel models. Our AHCODA platform for automated analysis of spontaneous behaviour data is also available for customers. All data is published online in our public database.

Sheltering behavior and locomotor activity in 11 genetically diverse common inbred mouse strains using home-cage monitoring. Loos et al., PLoS One. 2014 9:e108563

> July 2014

Publication: Molecular mechanisms of aging-associated cognitive decline

In a collaborative project, we provide evidence for the involvement of extracellular matrix levels in impairments of spatial learning in aged mice, using the Barnes maze.

Hippocampal extracellular matrix levels and stochasticity in synaptic protein expression increase with age and are associated with age-dependent cognitive decline. Végh, Loos et al., Mol Cell Proteomics. 2014; 13:2975

> October 2012

Publication: novel automated avoidance learning test available

In a new publication, we present a novel avoidance learning test for automated home-cages. More information about this test is available on our website. All data can be found in our public database.

High-throughput phenotyping of avoidance learning in mice discriminates different genotypes and identifies a novel gene. Loos et al., Genes Brain Behav. 2012; 11:772