Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Policy No.0301: Use of Sterile Materials for Implantation or Injection into Experimental Animals

Approved by Animal Institute Committee: 1/15/03

Reapproved 6/15/2011

Bacterial infections can cause illness, pain, distress, and death in experimental animals, and can affect research results even in the absence of clinically apparent disease. In order to minimize the risk of infection and its associated adverse effects, all materials injected or implanted into experimental animals as a survival procedure must be sterile. Several options are available for sterilizing such materials:

  1. Implanted devices or materials (such as PE tubing or suture material) may be purchased pre-sterilized for single use only.
  2. Devices or materials may be sterilized by autoclaving, ethylene oxide gas sterilization (with appropriate aeration before use), or liquid sterilant (with appropriate rinsing before use).
  3. Fluids for injection may be purchased sterile, or may be sterilized by passing through a 0.2um filter.
    Once sterilized, materials and fluids must be stored, handled, and used in a manner that maintains sterility. If any materials intended for implantation or injection into animals cannot be sterilized by the above methods, or If sterility cannot be maintained, the Principal Investigator must consult with an Institute for Animal Studies veterinarian about methods to minimize bacterial contamination and infection.
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