Implantable VHF Systems (IMP)

Historically implants have been used to instrument animals to monitor physiological parameters such as core body temperature, subcutaneous temperature, and heart rate. In early studies there were many concerns over the potential adverse health effects of implant surgery and long term implantation of the system in the body of subject animals. Early reports and observations on several species of mammals, birds, and reptiles implanted for extended time periods indicated that implantation did not seem to adversely affect the behavior of the animal, induce a generalized inflammatory response, or prevent the reproduction of the species that were studied. It was noted that implants were "walled off" soon after implantation. Implants have been successfully removed from animals as long as 7 years after initial implantation surgery. In many instances animals carrying implants have successfully reproduced born and reared young. Although much of this information is anecdotal and has been collected as simply observations during studies specifically addressing other research topics, field reports on the health issues of implanted animals have been extremely favorable. If you choose to use an implant device in a study, Telonics recommends that you review the appropriate literature and consult with the appropriate oversight entities responsible for animal care, health, and treatment at your institution or agency.

Implants though initially used to monitor physiological parameters have more recently been used on numerous species which have a body morphology not suited to wearing external transmitting units. For example, otters simply do not wear collars well and harnessing techniques have been shown to be ineffective and in some cases dangerous to the animal's survival in its environment. Similarly snakes, lizards, and many species of fish are only instrumented using implant technology.

In other applications, the presence of an external device can influence the individual interaction with predators, conspecifics, or even offspring. Therefore in some behavioral studies implant technology is the preferred instrumentation technique because there are no external marks or devices.

Other applications include detection or parturition, the onset of disease processes, or estrous. Radio transmitter implant technology has developed steadily over the years and is today a mature technology for scientific research.

The first step in selecting an implantable transmitting subsystem is determining the appropriate size and weight for the configuration, which includes the transmitting electronics, power supply, and packaging. Often the size and weight of an implant can be greater than with configurations placed on the animal using an external attachment such as a collar. This is especially true with smaller subjects. This is not a recommendation to use the largest implant, but recognition that implants can often be positioned near the center of gravity of the animal, where more weight can be carried and the positioning of the unit is less likely to interfere with normal behavior.

Key Features

  • These implant systems have a dual water barrier. This double barrier system makes the implant less subject to mechanical damage and reduces the chance for long moisture penetration over the life of the transmitter. This approach represents the best and most reliable packaging available for implants.
  • All Telonics implants (with the exception of the CHP series) are microprocessor controlled.
  • Most configurations can be refurbished to the original configuration and returned to the user with a reinstated warranty.
  • Implants provide a great alternative approach for instrumenting smaller animals, rapidly growing young animals, or species with body forms that prohibit attaching external units.
  • Heart Rate units synchronize the transmitter pulse rate to the heart rate of the animal.
  • Although implants often have less range, as compared to externally mounted units, Telonics "tunes" the implant's antenna to match to the dialectic of the body maximizing range performance of the system.
  • Micro-miniature Implantable Subsystems are suited to implantation in smaller species

Standard Implantable Subsystems


Standard Implantable
Subsystems using Internal Antennas

Click here for
Micro-miniature Implantable Units

Models

Config. Dimensions L x Dia (in, cm) Unit Weight (g) Operational Life
@ 60 BPM
Std. Pow (months)
Operational Life
@ 60 BPM
Low Pow (months)
Transmitter
Electronics
Microprocessor
Control Options
IMP-100-2 1.6 x 0.7
4.1 x 1.8
11 1.8 1.5 MK12 MS6, MA, MS9, MDC, MS4, MS5
IMP-130-2 2.1 x 0.75
5.3 x 1.9
19 4.8 7.1 MK12 MS6, MA, MS9, MDC, MS4, MS5
IMP-140-2 4.2 x 0.75
10.7 x 1.9
40 10.9 15.6 MK12 MS6, MA, MS9, MDC, MS4, MS5
IMP-150-2 2.1 x 0.9
5.3 x 2.3
21 4.8 7.1 MK12 MS6, MA, MS9, MDC, MS4, MS5
IMP-200-2 2.4 x 0.9
6.1 x 2.3
25 8.9 13 MK12 MS6, MA, MS9, MDC, MS4, MS5
IMP-210-2 2.9 x 0.9
7.4 x 2.3
38 8.9 13 MK12 MS6, MA, MS9, MDC, MS4, MS5
IMP-310-2 3.7 x 0.9
9.4 x 2.3
38.5 13.9 19.9 MK12 MS6, MA, MS9, MDC, MS4, MS5
IMP-400-2 3.8 x 1.3
9.7 x 3.3
~95 36 52 MK12 MS6, MA, MS9, MDC, MS4, MS5
IMP-700-2 6.0 x 1.3
15.2 x 3.3
~158 68.4 95.7 MK12 MS6, MA, MS9, MDC, MS4, MS5

Specifications for Transmitter Electronics

MK11/12 Transmitter General Specifications

MK-11 and MK-12 beacons are microprocessor controlled pulsed-CW transmitters, designed for operation within the 137 - 225 MHz frequency range. Each MK-11 beacon transmits on a single, field-programmable frequency (within the frequency range that is ordered). MK-11 beacons also support 3 field-programmable power levels. The MK-12 beacon is crystal based, and therefore each beacon is built to operate on a specific frequency and with a specific power output (four power levels to choose from when ordering).

Frequency Range MK11:
137 - 143 MHz (option 700),
143 - 156 MHz (option 710),
154 - 164 MHz (option 720),
162 - 174 MHz (option 730),
164 - 182 MHz (option 740),
182 - 201 MHz (option 750),
201 - 222 MHz (option 760)

MK12:
140 - 225 MHz
Frequency Tolerance MK11:
Calibration: ±3 ppm max at room temperature / ±5 ppm from -40° to +70°C
Aging: <1ppm/yr
Shock: <1ppm 3000g x 0.2ms x ½ sine x 3 directions

MK12:
Calibration: ±17 ppm at room temperature / ±25 ppm from -40° to +70°C
Load: <7ppm typical for VSWR < 6:1
Supply Voltage: <3ppm typical over supply voltage range at 25°C
Aging: <1ppm/yr
Shock: <1ppm 3000g x 0.2ms x ½ sine x 3 directions
VSWR Stability MK11: RF output stable to 10:1 VSWR, all phases.
Radiated harmonic levels are degraded with poor load VSWR.
Spurious emission specification maintained for > 10:1 VSWR.

MK12: RF output stable to 5:1 VSWR, all phases.
Radiated harmonic levels are degraded with poor load VSWR.
Spurious emission specification maintained for > 5:1 VSWR.
Output Power
MK11: Field Programmable using TPP
Transmit Power Peak Power Output
Relative to Medium Power
Low 0.5 * Medium Power
Med  
High 2.0 * Medium Power

MK12: Ordering Options for Power Level
Option Transmit Power Peak Power Output Levels
Relative to Standard Power
200 Low (Temperature > -20C) 0.5 * Medium Power (Higher efficiency)
202 Low 0.5 * Medium Power
204 Medium  
206 High 2.0 * Medium Power

Output power is measured into 50 Ω load. Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) varies, depending on packaging, antenna configuration, and immediate environmental conditions.
Emission Designator MK11: 2k00P0N -
California users: These transmitters meet the California requirement of EIRP < 0.009 W for all conditions.
MK12: 1k00P0N -
California users: These transmitters exceed the emission designator requirement of 2k00P0N for operation in California. The 1k00P0N emission designator is identical to the 2k00P0N except that it occupies only half of the 2 kHz bandwidth allowed by the State of California for wildlife tracking.
Harmonic and Coherent Spurious Suppression MK11: <-30 dBc into 50Ω load
MK12: Coherent Spurious <-10 dBc
Spurious Suppression MK11: <-35dBc typical at > 10kHz offset from carrier
MK12: Non-Coherent Spurious <-50 dBc
RF Pulse Width 15 msec standard
Can optionally be configured from 10 - 250 msec
Pulse Period Configurable from 250 - 5000 msec (12-240 Bpm)
RTC Accuracy / Seasonal Timing Temperature Compensated:
± 12min/yr max
Temperature Range -40°C to +70°C (Note: Temperature range is for the transmitter only. The power supply must provide the required peak current and voltage requirements for the transmitter over the expected temperature range.)
Shutdown Component Externally shutdown by presence of a small magnet
Available Sensors
• Motion Sensor (3-axis accelerometer) - Option 500

- Activity - Used to determine the level of activity of the study animal. The animal's motion is sensed once each second to determine "active" Classification Periods (programmable in length). At the end of a programmable Update Period, the number of "active" Classification Periods is used to establish either: a) one of two programmable, fixed pulse periods (i.e., Low activity level, or High activity level), or b) to control a variable pulse period that defines the measured amount of activity.

- Mortality - Provides an "active/alive" or "inactive/dead" pulse period depending on the activity level of the study animal. Motion is sensed once each second and a tally is made of "active seconds" over a programmable period of time (the Mortality Period). If the count of "active seconds" over this period of time is below a programmable threshold, the animal is deemed dead and the unit transmits a programmable, fixed pulse period. Otherwise, the animal is considered alive, in which case, the unit transmits according to its normal programmed behavior. This can alternatively be used to trigger the "Time Since Event" function.

• Temperature Sensor

- Temperature measurement - Temperature is measured via the sensor specified when the unit was ordered/built (see table below). The temperature is measured at a programmable time interval, and is used to control a variable pulse period.

- Mortality - Temperature is measured via the sensor specified when the unit was ordered/built. (Default is Opt. 400, centered at 37°C.) When the temperature is below a programmable value, the animal is deemed to be dead, causing the unit to transmit at a programmable, fixed pulse period. Otherwise, the animal is considered to be alive, in which case, the unit transmits according to its normal programmed behavior. This can alternatively be used to trigger the "Time Since Event" function.

Temperature sensor specs:
Sensor Type Range Resolution Accuracy (uncal) Accuracy (calibrated*) Opt #
Thermistor Center temp = 14°C -40 to +70°C 0.390° @ -40°C
0.076° @ 14°C
0.342° @ 70°C
±0.39°C typ
±2.0°C max
  401 - Onboard
406 - Remote
-10 to +32°C <=0.1°C ±0.28°C typ ±0.08°C + CalErr** typ. (Cal @ 14°C)
Thermistor Center temp = 37°C -40 to +70°C 1.041° @ -40°C
0.087° @ 37°C
0.162° @ 70°C
±0.47°C typ
±3.35°C max
  400 - Onboard
405 - Remote
+14 to +47°C <=0.1°C ±0.28°C typ ±0.09°C + CalErr** typ. (Cal @ 37°C)
Digital -40 to +70°C 0.0625°C ±1°C max ±0.0625°C + CalErr** typ. (Cal @ any temp) 410 - Onboard

* Calibration is the responsibility of the user, consisting of a 1-point calibration at the listed temperature.

** CalErr is the Calibration Uncertainty which is the error inherent in the calibration procedure. This value is dependent on the end user's calibration procedure and equipment accuracy.

MK11/12 VHF Transmitter Sensor Option Descriptions

MK11/12 Sensor Option Descriptions

Legacy Products

The information below is provided for individuals who are still deploying these older systems. Some of the system information or limitations, information on frequency allocation or usage, and/or comments made on "state of the art" may be time sensitive or even outdated. Please contact Telonics if you have any questions about the information provided in this section.

Telonics still supports and refurbishes the following products but no longer sells them new:

Micro-miniature Implantable Subsystems


Micro-miniature
Implantable Units

Click here for Standard Implantable Subsystems

Micro-miniature Implant Subsystems allow the instrumentation of smaller species of animals. The configurations are based on our CHP transmitter. To minimize the size of these configurations very small batteries are used. The smaller battery system limits the operational life of the configuration and also limits the radio frequency (RF) power that can be transmitted by the unit. The CHP electronics are matched to these small battery systems to avoid damaging the batteries yet provide as much range performance as is possible from the configuration. In order to further maximize range of these configurations, they are made with highly flexible external antennas that increase the radiated power. This common configuration is often used in fish and snake applications. Whenever this option is utilized, the implant is internally cast with a polymer and coated in physiological wax to minimize moisture penetration. However, this design is only water resistant - and the penetration of the wax coating by the antenna provides a potential moisture path that ultimately allows, in the long term, penetration of body fluids. The time-frame to moisture penetration is related to the type of external antenna structure selected as well as the flexation and strain placed on the antenna in the body. This technology is best suited to studies 3 to 6 months in duration.

Config Dimensions L x Dia (in, cm) Unit Weight (g) Transmitter Electronics Operational Life @ 60BPM (months) Operational Life @ 35BPM (months) Conventional Sensor Options
IMP-CHP-5P 1.44 x 0.62 x 0.37
3.66 x 1.57 x 0.94
6.8 CHP 8.5 13.6 conventional S2 temp
IMP-CHP-6P 1.0 x 0.62 x 0.37
2.54 x 1.57 x 0.94
3.7 CHP 4.2 6.8 conventional S2 temp
IMP-CHP-7P 0.83 x 0.45 x 0.37
2.11 x 1.14 x 0.94
2.2 CHP 1.6 2.7 conventional S2 temp
IMP-CHP-8P 0.90 x 0.42 x 0.25
2.29 x 1.07 x 0.64
1.2 CHP 0.7 1.1 conventional S2 temp

**Note: The CHP micro miniature transmitter is designed for use with a small battery system. The power output is matched to the power provided by the small battery. Therefore the standard power for an IMP/CHP is much lower than the standards power for a MK8 or MK9 subsystem. This is true of micro miniature transmitter technology in general and throughout the industry.

Specifications for Transmitter Electronics

CHP Conventional Control Options

OPT. S2 Temperature Sensor. Sensor provides pulse rate which varies according to temperature within the transmitting subsystem. User specifies desired pulse rate at anticipated median temperature and approximate range of temperatures to be monitored. Pulse rate increases at higher temperatures and decreases at lower temperatures.

Cautionary Notes for Implantable Subsystems

1. Most Telonics implantable telemetry transmitting subsystems utilize an internal transmitting antenna structure. The structure is contained inside the packaging of the implant. This type of antenna can be tuned to either air or the dielectric of the body. The tuning choice will affect where (in air or in the body) the maximum range performance will be achieved. If the unit is tuned to air, the unit's best performance will be achieved when air surrounds the implant. If the implant antenna is tuned to the dialectic of the body, the best performance from the implant will be achieved when the implant is actually inside the body cavity. Note: When testing, it is necessary to place the implant in the medium in which it will be expected to operate. This is particularly true when trying to obtain more accurate range performance test data.
For extremely large bodied animals (over 100 pounds), it should be noted that the large mass reduces the effective radiated power of the implant, thereby reducing the range performance of the system. When implanting small terrestrial mammals, the implant is often carried only a few inches off the surface of the earth and thus the range is reduced because line-of-sight range is also reduced under these conditions.

2. Cold method sterilization should be utilized when sterilizing units prior to implantation. The physiological wax can melt with hot method sterilization techniques compromising the units' moisture repelling properties. Also note, units should be stored in a cool environment (such as a cooler) during transportation in vehicles, or kept in a cool environment during periods of storage.

Technical Note about Sterilization Methods