Assisted Reproductive Technologies
The Facility utilizes a number of assisted reproductive technologies in its operations - technologies that can be harnessed to enhance your mouse research program.
Note: Discounts apply for members of Departments/Programs that subsidize the facility.
Description of Services
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
Sperm will be isolated and used for IVF to produce embryos. The yield of embryos will be dependent on the number of oocyte donors used and on the strain of the mice involved. Embryos will then be transferred to a maximum of 6 recipient females. Additional embryos can be transferred at a cost of $50 per recipient and/or frozen at a cost of $2/embryo. Some potential uses of IVF include the following:
- Strain rescue: If your mice are having breeding issues, IVF can be used to rescue your strain. Sperm is recovered from a non-breeding male and used for IVF. (It may even be possible to recover viable sperm from a dead male; in this case, contact us immediately for instructions.) Understandably, the Facility can not guarantee success.
- Strain expansion: If only a few mice of a particular strain exist and more are needed quickly, these can be produced via IVF. IVF can produce a large number of embryos, which will be transferred to produce pups. The caveat is that, unless the oocyte donors are of the same strain, the resulting animals will be heterozygous for the gene(s) of interest. Using IVF, a single male can easily produce well in excess of 1000 embryos in a single reaction (limited by the number of oocyte donors available). This is potentially more than 100 litters of mice. In contrast, a single male can impregnate approximately 2 females per week.
- Rederivation: If mice are received that may be carrying pathogens, sperm can be collected for IVF and the embryos produced can be transferred to recover pathogen-free mice. Rederivation by IVF can potentially produce an large initial colony. However, due to genetic reasons this may not be the appropriate approach for certain strains of mice.
Embryo transfer for strain rederivation A colony of mice that is carrying pathogens can be re-derived as a pathogen-free colony by collecting preimplantation stage embryos from mated females and transferring them to recipients that will deliver pathogen-free pups.
Other services If you have other needs that may be served by the Facility's expertise in mouse reproductive technologies (for example, assessing sperm viability and function in knockout mice), please do not hesitate to contact us.
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