CECAD's in vivo Research Facility (ivRF) is an animal facility with state-of-the-art technology, designed and run in line with the latest scientific findings, legislation, ergonomics, and especially animal welfare. Five separate, individually operated barriers allow maximum flexibility for the wide variety of demands made by the research groups. The ivRF offers an experimental platform for establishing new mouse models, as well as an efficient means of long-term cryopreservation. The ivRF meets all the requirements of the 2013 law on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes and consistently adheres to the three R's principle of animal welfare: reduction, refinement, and replacement.
Services: CECAD's in vivo Research Facility has two main departments. The Animal Facility offers CECAD's research groups the opportunity to validate their results in approved and strictly controlled animal studies. The ivRF organizes the import and export of model organisms and biological materials. Scientists experienced in laboratory animal care advise on animal welfare and legal requirements. Ongoing training of qualified staff responsible for animal housing ensures a comprehensive service that includes both professional care and on-site assistance.
The second department is the Transgene Service Unit. This unit is an experimental platform for establishing mouse models in accordance with the latest scientific knowledge, such as genome editing. In addition, it offers laboratory services for embryology, cell biology, and molecular biology.
Scientific achievements: With an innovative concept and in full compliance with current legislation, the ivRF opened its animal facility and transgene service departments in 2014. Strictly controlled hygiene management ensures a high quality of scientific research. Expert advice from the ivRF supports the individual research groups in their various projects.
Future plans: The ivRF supports the work of the scientific research groups by making resources and cutting-edge technology available. A facility providing an environment also suitable for higher safety levels of genetic engineering, as well as a core unit with absolutely reliable hygiene, offers opportunities to build up the range of services.
The goal is to extend the range of transgene services on offer, for example, with high-quality embryonic stem cells for gene targeting, in-house genetic monitoring of mouse lines, and optimising new transgene technology. A planned research priority is to improve the techniques used. In accordance with the three R's principle, the aim is to reduce the number of animals required.
Prof. Dr. Branko Zevnik
CECAD Cologne / In Vivo Research Facility
Dr. Ylva Illing
CECAD - In Vivo Research Facility