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The Small Animal Facility (SAF)

The Small Animal Facility (SAF) at the NCR Biotech Science Cluster is a state of the art facility housing mice, other rodent and small animal models. The facility is registered with the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA), Ministry of Fisheries, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India, with the registration number 1835/GO/ReRcBi/S/15/CPCSEA. The SAF has permission for conducting small animal research for education and commercial purpose, and breeding for in-house use, after obtaining due approvals from the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee.

The SAF is located in a dedicated three storey building on campus. The ground floor houses the offices of the Veterinarian-in-charge and other staff members, lab area, change rooms, stores, washing and autoclave area, and quarantine room. The first, second and third floors are dedicated for housing animals and conducting animal work. These floors have designated clean and dirty corridors to facilitate movement of personnel and transport of animal supplies, minimizing contamination risks. Separate rooms with access restrictions have been earmarked for animal breeding and experimental purposes. Animals are maintained in individually ventilated caging (IVC) systems, with environmental conditions maintained as per CPCSEA guidelines. The rooms housing animals are equipped with cage changing stations, biosafety cabinets and laminar flow units for cage changing and animal handling. A dedicated procedure room with anaesthesia systems, biosafety cabinets, euthanasia setup, in vivo imaging system and other equipment for carrying out experiments on small animals is available within the facility for trained users to perform animal experiments.

The SAF currently houses rodent models, including 41 mouse strains comprising inbred, transgenic, knock-in, knockout and immunodeficient strains. These animals are used for carrying out research in diverse areas including immunology and auto-immune diseases, infectious diseases, cancer biology, gut inflammation, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, haemolytic diseases, muscle development and diseases, neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases, stem cells and regeneration.

The animal facility is access controlled with restricted access provided only to trained users and staff via a card based system. Standard operating procedures are followed for animal handling and all animal related procedures carried out at the facility. Animal facility records are maintained and CCTV surveillance monitoring carried out at the SAF, as per CPCSEA guidelines. Standard animal quality control measures including health, genetic and environmental monitoring are being followed to ensure animal health and isolate infections as early as possible. A separate animal room within the facility caters to animal infection studies involving biosafety level 2 pathogens. Periodic training programs are conducted by experts at the facility, on animal care, handling and experimental techniques for staff, students and researchers planning to perform animal related procedures and experiments.