Experimantal Surgery - Animal Facility
Developed by: Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Hospital La Paz
The Experimental Surgery Section is a support unit for research and teaching. In the research field, the Section develops biomedical research projects and fine-tunes procedures for new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that use laboratory animals. In the teaching field, the Section organises and supports training courses in surgical, microsurgical, laparoscopic and anaesthetic techniques.
The research and teaching at IdiPAZ involving the use of laboratory animals is managed via the animal platform of IdiPAZ, and is overseen by Dr. Carlota Largo Aramburu. In this department we develop biomedical research projects, training courses specific to the various specialties as well as procedures for putting in place new diagnostic techniques or therapies that involve the use of experimental animals. In addition, the animal facility works with the Ethics Committee for Animal Wellbeing, whose authorisations is required for all procedures.
The animal facility is located in basement 2 of the IdiPAZ building within the hospital complex. The facility provides a total of 10 rooms for animal housing, in both breeding and experimental phases, two rooms for animal handling and experimental procedures, a room for washing material, which includes a cage washer, an autoclave and a pressure-based washing system, and several storage rooms for clean materials, feed and wood shavings for cages. In addition, for its proper functioning, the animal facility is connected with the rest of the departments of Experimental Surgery where there is a double operating theatre, a microsurgery room and various additional rooms (dressing areas, offices, and store rooms)
The species typically used include: rodents (rats, mice and gerbils), rabbits, pigs, sheep and goats, and occasionally dogs, cats or guinea pigs. Recently, a fish housing unit has been established (zebra fish).
To avoid contamination and permit a good workflow, the rooms for housing of large animals are physically separated from those for the rodents and the rest of the facilities (washing area, store rooms, or the handling room). In addition, all the rooms include an external video camera system to monitor the interior while avoiding the unnecessary entrance of unauthorised personnel.
The cages provide the minimum dimensions required for housing pigs and/or small ruminants. The structure of each cage is includes stainless steel anchored to the wall, with sliding separators that allow the expansion of the space by uniting two cages. The rooms have the slope needed to encourage the elimination of solid residue via a drain located in the rear of the cage. All of the drains are equipped with protection systems to prevent the entrance of rodents or insects. For the cleanliness of the room and the animals, there are hot and cold water connections via a hose.
The rabbit room includes modular mobile crate racks of 3, 6 or 9 cages. The rabbits are kept in individual stainless steel cages with plastic grids. They also have a box structure inside that allows the animal to hide or go up to a higher position. The stainless steel feeders and drinking water are located in the cage door. Faeces and urine are collected in an extractible stainless steel tray. This room has a central drain with similar characteristics as those in the large animal room.
The rodent area is separated from the rest of the facility via a gate system (without locking doors) where staff can dress appropriately before entering (boots, robe, gloves, hat and mask). In this area, 5 rooms are located for the housing of rats and mice in both breeding and experimental phases and a room for fish. There is a storeroom for feed and shavings and a room for handling and the performance of procedures.
In addition to two large areas of animals, the animal facility includes:
• A washroom equipped with a cage washer (Hobart), a stainless steel pool and an autoclave. It also has a pressure wash system for cleaning the cages and/or visits that require it.
• A room for handling large animals for the performance of procedures with a table and surgical lamp, surgical cart, monitoring equipment and a C-arm X-Ray.
• Store room (clean material)
• Control room with computers for environmental control.
The animal facility complies with all current legislation and is registered with number ES-280790001941.