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Best practice video tutorial launches on aseptic techniques in rodent surgery

A new comprehensive video tutorial to help research workers apply best practice in aseptic surgical techniques in laboratory rodents has been produced by Newcastle University in collaboration with the NC3Rs

The first of its kind available freely in Europe to use video as opposed to text guidelines, the 'aseptic technique in rodent surgery' tutorial aims to provide easily achievable standards and improve animal welfare.

Professor Paul Flecknell, Director of the Comparative Biology Centre at Newcastle University, UK who developed the tutorial, said "We aim to provide a practical guide, illustrating techniques that can be adopted in any research facility. These materials will help maintain and raise standards of aseptic surgical technique in research units."

Broken down into eight short videos, the tutorial allows researchers to reduce the risk of post-surgical wound infections which can negatively impact on results in addition to causing distress in laboratory animals.

Tutorials with an accompanying audio commentary cover all aspects of preparing and undertaking surgery including: instrument sterilisation; sterilisation of other materials; aseptic preparation of the animal, surgeon and surgical area; the surgical procedure and batch surgery.

"This resource forms part of our ongoing strategy to raise awareness about contemporary best practice," commented Dr Vicky Robinson, Chief Executive, NC3Rs. "We are delighted to be working alongside Newcastle University and utilising Professor Flecknell's vast expertise in rodent surgical technique training."

Additional material is also available to allow trainers to incorporate the tutorial into their own courses, including a trainer's pack, downloadable video files and supplementary materials. It has been developed after consultation with experts across North America and Europe.

This is the second video resource on the 'Procedures With Care' website, which also includes a series of tutorials on the administration of substances to laboratory animals. The NC3Rs plan to build on this library with a follow-up tutorial in 2013 on anaesthesia and analgesia.

The 'aseptic technique in rodent surgery' tutorial can be viewed at

7 January 2013

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