The facility is a dedicated SPF (Specified Pathogen Free) to strengthen research outcomes that are consistent and reproducible.
The staff provide a variety of specialised services. These include:
- Surgical support team to provide expertise in surgical models. A dedicated training team ensuring that any use of animals is undertaken competently and according to best practice.
- Dedicated rodent breeding core for supplying quality rodent models, and a unit for the production and archiving of new gene-edited rodent models. There are dedicated areas for use of higher risk pathogenic organisms (ACDP Categories 2 and 3) in animal models, with the Category 3 work being carried out in a bespoke containment suite.
- The preclinical research facility team are highly experienced in a wide variety of technical procedures and with the use of phenotyping equipment. Substantial scientific experience is available within the management team to assist researchers in establishing animal research models.
- An in vivo imaging service (the preclinical imaging facility is also housed within the animal unit). It consists of state-of the-art in-vivo imaging systems:
- 9.4T magnetic resonance imaging
- preclinical ultrasound
- micro-computed tomography
These imaging systems are used to study a variety of species including mouse, rat, rabbit and insects, and disease models such as ischaemic stroke, myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic aneurysm, T-cell lymphoma, fatty liver disease and Streptococcus pneumoniae infection.