The Institut Curie Research Center provides a spectrum of facility areas for housing a variety of different Vertebrate models, allowing the Institut Curie research community access to advanced technical expertise.
In spite of substitutive methods, the responsible use of animal models (mouse, zebrafish, amphibian) remains required for research activity at Institut Curie. Animals remain a small but integral part of a comprehensive research and testing strategy that includes non-animal methods and clinical research. The care and use of animals used in Institut Curie strictly apply European and National Regulation for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals used for Experimental and other Scientific Purposes. Studies are carried out in authorized establishments by competent personal after approval of the dedicated “Committee on ethics of animal experimentation-Institut Curie”. Institut Curie fully adheres to the 3Rs: replacement, reduction, and refinement of animals in research. In this context, Institut Curie uses animals only when a non-animal method is not suitable for the required use (replacement), in the smallest number necessary for quality science (reduction), and implementing state-of-the-art practices to promote animal welfare, and prevent animal pain and distress in housing and procedure conditions (refinement).
A team of 26 qualified Animal Technicians and Engineers supervised by a facility manager assisted by a veterinarian provides daily support and services to more than 50 research groups (over than 300 users). A Pilot Committee guarantees the availability of timely, state-of-art services and equipment and approves the initiation of new core facilities, the addition of new core services and equipment, the fee structure for services.
In addition to providing state-of-the-art breeding, housing and welfare conditions for mice, Zebrafishs and Xenopus, the Lab Animal Facility offers a large panel of services and collaborative supports. Thus, the following activities are proposed: technical support in protocols or equipment use ; generation of genetically-engineered animal models (pronuclear DNA injection, homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells and newly TALEN and CRISPR technology) ; mouse sperm and embryo cryopreservation or revitalization ; animal import and export for external collaborations. The Lab Animal Facility Platform is constantly evolving through refurbishment of animal facilities and development of news services from extensive technology watch and collaborative benchmarking.
Mouse facilities are equipped with specialized equipment ventilated racks, micromanipulators and stereomicroscopes for embryo manipulation as well as gas anesthesia machines. It also offers small animal imaging equipments with apparatus for ultrasonograpy, fluorescence/bioluminescence and magnetic resonance imaging.
Aquatic Facilities (Zebrafish and Amphibians) are equipped with recirculating water systems. Adjacent laboratory rooms are equipped with injection set-ups for egg and embryo injection, incubators for embryo raising, and related small accessory equipment.
Institut Curie is greatly involved in Lab Animal Science through numerous networks with the dual objective of high quality research and respect of animal: EU-Life, AAALAC (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care), AFSTAL (Association Française des Sciences et Techniques de l’Animal de. Laboratoire), ROCAD (Réseau Opérationnel de Centres pour faciliter l’Accès et la Distribution des modèles souris), GIRCOR (Groupe Interprofessionnel de Réflexion et de Communication sur la Recherche).