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ALPHA-twist™ Details

Research Integrity

Nesting material and bedding is a controllable research variable that research animals are exposed to 24/7.

A nesting material comprised of variable materials and inconsistent in composition may impact the integrity of valuable research.

ALPHA-twist™ is the material of choice to ensure the elimination of confounding variables from nesting materials.


  • Comprised of Virgin, Bleached Paper Pulp
    Most other nesting materials are manufactured from waste fibers, or recycled materials from other manufacturing processes. ALPHA-twist in contrast is made from twisted, bleached virgin paper pulp.
  • Exceptional cleanliness and consistency
    The virgin, bleached paper pulp in ALPHA-twist assures that it is clean and consistent from cage to cage and batch to batch.
  • Free of Chemical Contaminants
    ALPHA-twist is free of all heavy metals, pesticides and emerging contaminant compounds like PFAS and PFOS substances. 
  • Free of Mycotoxins and Endotoxins
    Mycotoxins and Endotoxins are common in many materials within the cage environment. These substances may have a significant impact on the physiological and behavioral aspects of the research animal. These inorganic contaminants are not removed by autoclaving or irradiation treatments. ALPHA-twist is free of these potentially study disrupting chemicals.

Animal Health & Welfare

Research animals give their lives for the advancement of science. In return, we at Shepherd believe it is our duty to provide bedding and nesting material that encourages species specific behaviors and overall health.

ALPHA-twist™ is an exceptional nesting material choice in support of this lofty goal.


  • Triggers Species Specific Behaviors
    ALPHA-twists spread throughout a cage elicit rodents’ natural instinct of foraging and gathering of nesting material. The twists are easy to unroll into 5 inch long strands of paper.
  • Soft and Comfortable
    ALPHA-twist is manufactured from a special soft, creased grade of paper that results in an exceptionally soft and comfortable nest.
  • Comprised of a Clean and Consistent Material
    ALPHA-twist is manufactured from a pure cellulose material that is free of potentially harmful substances like endotoxins, mycotoxins, PFAS, heavy metals and pesticides
  • Exceptional Nest Building
    The unfurled ALPHA-twist pieces are easy to manipulate and weave into an excellent dome-shaped nest. 
  • Custom Dosing
    ALPHA-twist is supplied in a loose form which allows animal care staff to custom dose the nesting material where needed related to specie, strain or cage densities.
  • The Safer Nesting Choice
    Other nesting materials contain long strands of cotton fibers that can cause strangulation issues. ALPHA-twist is made from dust-free paper which eliminates strangulation concerns and other health issues from dusty materials.

Operational Productivity

Nesting material is crucial to the health and welfare of the animals and the research goals of the investigators. However, it must also be able to be utilized effectively and efficiently within a large scale research facility.

ALPHA-twist’s unique characteristics and overall performance supports economical facility wide usage.

  • Easy to Dispense Consistently
    Most nesting materials are difficult to dispense in a uniform manner. ALPHA-twist consists of tight, multi-layered rolls of paper. These twists are easy to dispense quickly in a consistent manner.
  • Virtually Dust free
    Lower dust levels mean there is less dust to filter and control within the facility and the cage wash areas.
  • Available Pre-blended in Bedding
    We save you time and labor by pre-blending ALPHA-twist in our industry leading bedding material ALPHA-dri.
    Click here to learn more about ALPHA-dri® + PLUS™, our pre-blending nesting and bedding material.
  • Economical
    One box of ALPHA-twist can provide enrichment for over 450 standard mouse cages. The cost per cage is less than traditional cotton based nesting materials and significantly less than compressed shredded paper pucks.
  • Our Scoops Promote Productivity and Consistency
    Our stainless steel scoops are available in three sizes that allow for quick, easy and consistent dispensing of ALPHA-twist in 4, 6, and 8 gram quantities.

Available through our Distributor Network.