Mouse expertise unit

An expanding tool box of genetic technology, together with the biological conservation, makes the mouse an important model system to decipher mechanisms underlying biological and disease processes.

Our goals

Our group provides mouse embryo services including microinjections to engineer the mouse genome.

Our services

The Mouse Expertise Unit performs reproductive techniques for the preservation of mouse lines. We offer both cryopreservation of sperm and embryos in liquid nitrogen. This helps to save resources when strains are not actively being used for research. More importantly, it also prevents genetic drift and excludes loss of colonies in case of a disaster (infections, fire,….). When required, we use in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer to revitalize the frozen samples. We also accept frozen sperm and embryos from external sources. The same in vitro techniques are being used for hygienic rederivation of mouse strains to import them in SPF facilities.
The Mouse Expertise Unit offers advice on the preparation of suitable reagents to engineer the mouse genome. We perform the embryo isolation, microinjection as well as the transfer into foster females. For embryos microinjected with CRISPR-Cas9 reagents, we usually achieve success rates of about 80% for sequence deletions and of about 15% for sequence replacements by homologous recombination.
In all cases, the researchers provide the DNA constructs, gRNAs, RNP’s or ES cells. Our staff then performs all microinjections and surgical procedures required for the production of the mutant mice. We deliver founders or chimeras that are then further crossed and analyzed by the requesting researchers.

For full-service packages we are collaborating with the MutaMouse genome engineering unit.

 

Stakeholders

The Mouse Expertise Unit is a collaboration between CBD and KU Leuven.

 

Our tools

  • Sperm freezing
  • Embryo freezing
  • Embryo transfer/rederivation
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Revitalization
  • Microinjection/Electroporation of mouse embryos
  • Microinjection of embryonic stem cells into blastocysts
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