GERM-FREE FACILITY

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Established in 2018, the state-of-the-art germ-free (GF) facility at House of BioHealth was built under a collaboration agreement between the University of Luxembourg and the LIH, with a 50% contribution from the Eco-Immunology and Microbiome Group. The facility houses up to 1000 adult mice with two individually ventilated cage (IVC) racks (96 cage capacity), 3 double-tier isolators (72 cage capacity) and a breeding isolator (32 cage capacity). To maintain germ-free conditions and safeguard animal welfare, our research is conducted under a strict level of sterility. Mice are housed in sterile or single colonization state isolators or iso-cages and all operations are conducted under specific opportunistic pathogen free (SOPF) conditions. Operators don two layers of sterile gowning, respirators, and two sets of nitrile gloves, followed by a 60 second air-shower to enter and work in the facility. All materials entering the facility are autoclaved or chemically decontaminated. Transfer of mice or other materials in or out of isolators occurs through transfer sleeves or airlocks using 20’-30’ droplet (7.4% hydrogen peroxide + 1500-2500 ppm peracetic acid) decontamination between each transfer. Our group has two dedicated technicians (Alessandro De Sciscio and Stéphanie Willieme) who help to manage the GF operations.

 


 

EQUIPMENT

undefinedAllentown Sentry SPP IVC rack system (x2)

  • Patented four-point sealing system seals cage and rack airsystems upon disconnecting a cage
  • SmartDock™ Technology to ensure cages are properly docked
  • SPP system (Sealed Positive Pressure)
  • Invividually ventilated cages with HEPA H14 filtered incoming air and extract filtered outgoing air 
  • 10 hour back-up battery in case of power failure
  • 535 cm2 in polysulfone cages 
  • 48 cage capacity (plus one control cage)

Image credit: Allentown, Inc.

undefinedAllenTown SC Plus Biological Safety Cabinet (x1)

  • Protects contents from outside contamination and user from hazardous agents in hood
  • 2 HEPA filters for double ventilation
  • Dual, electronically commutated motor/blowers pull contaminated air through exhaust HEPA filter and supply air HEPA filter to ensure a consistent volume of air is continuously circulated
  • Cages are pre-sterilized prior entering
  • Automated dry fogging cycle in transfer chamber

Image credit: Allentown, Inc.

undefinedCBC Breeding Isolator (x1)

  • Flexible polyurethane canopy isolator
  • Double airlock transport port at front
  • Blower and manifold system for circulation of HEPA filtered air
  • Positive air pressure decreases risk of contamination
  • Inner gloves for manipulations
  • 32 cage capacity

Image credit: Class Biologically Clean, Ltd.

undefinedCBC Double-Tier Experimental Isolator (x3)

  • 154 cm x 908 cm flexible polyurethane canopy isolators
  • Double airlock at rear
  • 6 colonization states (1 per isolator)
  • Blower and manifold system for circulation of HEPA filtered air
  • Positive air pressure decreases risk of contamination
  • Inner gloves for manipuations
  • 12 cages per isolator (72 cages total capacity)

Image credit: Class Biologically Clean, Ltd.