Cryopreservation, Breeding and Maintenance of genetically altered mice as a service

This service licence allows the University to maintain high health status of the rodent colonies required by many ongoing scientific research projects. Practices include the use of embryo re-derivation, general breeding and maintenance of genetically altered rodent colonies and the preservation and archiving of important genetically altered rodent lines by cryopreservation to ensure against loss as well as to avoid the unnecessary breeding of animals that may not be needed.

A significant range of skills in animal husbandry techniques, surgical skills, cell culture and cell growth etc. would have to be acquired if individuals had to learn these skills for themselves. Also a considerable number of mice would have to be used to ensure someone’s competency and if those skills weren’t continually used this could potentially impact on animal welfare and lead to more mice being required to achieve the desired results.  Under this licence experienced licensees provide the skills and knowledge required, applying two of the 3Rs, reduction and refinement, with minimal animal wastage.

The use of a service licence helps us to decrease the number of mice needed, overall, through the re-use of breeding animals where possible for supplying GA animals to more than one research project. The service may be required once or several times a year by individual scientists, so without this service those scientists would have to acquire the competence necessary to either generate all the mice needed each time or to maintain them long-term under other individual project licences.

Value of cryopreservation. Archiving frozen embryos and/or sperm from all genetically modified lines directly reduces over-breeding of mice, genetic drift and ensures that a repository is available for future use. Also, importantly, embryos/sperm can be shipped to researchers instead of live mice, meaning the complete avoidance of the stress of travel on animals.

Read cryopreservation, breeding and maintenance of genetically altered mice as a service non-technical summary (PDF). This PDF may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. If you need an accessible version please email