ReproPhone and e-Synch: Novel Tools to Automate and Optimize Cattle Reproductive Management

Main goals are to develop; 1) e-Synch; an intravaginal reusable device to automate synchronization of ovulation and monitor physiology of cows and 2) ReproPhone; a user-friendly, rapid, low-cost tool to determine pregnancy and ovarian status of cows on-farm. The e-Synch consists of an electronically controlled device loaded with products to synchronize ovulation and sensors to monitor cow activity and temperature. Briefly, user inserts e-Synch and selects desired treatment with a mobile app. Next, e-Synch automatically delivers hormones required for the selected protocol. Once protocol is completed, e-Synch is removed and the cow is inseminated. On the other hand, ReproPhone consists of a lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) to quantify circulating reproductive hormones coupled with a portable imaging device connected to a mobile app. Specific activities: 1) Evaluate efficacy of e-Synch. Conduct field trials to evaluate the ability of current prototype to deliver hormones used for synchronization of ovulation. Based on initial tests we will work with Dr. Erickson’s group to improve the design and function of the device. 2) Optimize current LFIA. Currently our LFIA and reading system is designed to test plasma samples, which is not ideal for on-farm implementation, as samples need to be processed before testing. Therefore, I will work on modifying current format to measure hormones in unprocessed whole blood samples. Activities include laboratory experiments and on-farm testing.

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