Anyone interested in building, modifying or renewing an animal (mouse) facility, with the aim of using it eventually for archiving (cryopreservation) and/or phenotyping purposes might find interesting reading the following article, which we prepared through the execution of the European Project INFRAFRONTIER.
Structural and Functional Concepts in Current Mouse Phenotyping and Archiving Facilities. Kollmus, Heike; Post, Rainer; Brielmeier, Markus; Fernández, Julia; Fuchs, Helmut; McKerlie, Colin; Montoliu, Lluis; Otaegui, Pedro J.; Rebelo, Manuel; Riedesel, Hermann; Ruberte, Jesús; Sedlacek, Radislav; de Angelis, Martin Hrabé; Schughart, Klaus . Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, Volume 51, Number 4, July 2012 , pp. 418-435(18).
Collecting and analyzing available information on the building plans, concepts, and workflow from existing animal facilities is an essential prerequisite for most centers that are planning and designing the construction of a new animal experimental research unit. Here, we have collected and analyzed such information in the context of the European project Infrafrontier, which aims to develop a common European infrastructure for high-throughput systemic phenotyping, archiving, and dissemination of mouse models. A team of experts visited 9 research facilities and 3 commercial breeders in Europe, Canada, the United States, and Singapore. During the visits, detailed data of each facility were collected and subsequently represented in standardized floor plans and descriptive tables. These data showed that because the local needs of scientists and their projects, property issues, and national and regional laws require very specific solutions, a common strategy for the construction of such facilities does not exist. However, several basic concepts were apparent that can be described by standardized floor plans showing the principle functional units and their interconnection. Here, we provide detailed information of how individual facilities addressed their specific needs by using different concepts of connecting the principle units. Our analysis likely will be valuable to research centers that are planning to design new mouse phenotyping and archiving facilities.