Animal Experimental Service (SEA)

The Animal Experimentation Service is the area dedicated to the house and care of experimental animals, and to work with experimental procedures that use them. The SEA has the ISO 9001: 2015 certification and guarantees compliance with the legal and ethical laws related to the use of animals for experimentation and for other scientific purposes. It is officially registered as a breeding center, supplier and user of experimental animals (B9900067 and REGA ES080190036528), it also has the authorization to house and work with Genetically Modified Organisms (A/ES/08/21 and A/ES/08/I-14) . The staff of the SEA is also officially trained and accredited: Welfare and Animal Health Specialist, Advisor on Animal Welfare, Technicians and Caregivers.

Translational research needs a responsible use of experimental animals and the reproducibility of results. The use of animals of high genetic and healthy quality and their use, maintenance and well-being in appropriate facilities are mandatory to obtain these results. The SEA offers its services to maintain the animals in the right conditions and also advices and gives specialized support to the researchers in the design and realization of the experimental procedures and techniques.

The SEA consists of 2 separate buildings:

Conventional Facility, one floor aea of 650m2, designed according to the requirements of Decret 214/1997 and R D 53/2013; It has the necessary facilities to house up to 40 pigs, 114 rabbits, 350 rats and 2500 mice in conventional conditions and 90 ratios and 2200 mice in SPF or Special Pathogen-Free conditions (individually ventilates cages in a possitive pressure room).

The SEA facility has work halls for rodents and rabbits and 4 experimental operating theaters for pigs. It also has advanced medical equipment for small animals: bioluminescence (Hamamatsu), high frequency ultrasound (Vevo2100), intravital microscope, flow measurement equipment and probes, ECG monitor, NIP equipment, mechanical ventilators , equipment of anesthesia with sebu / isoflorane, surgery microscopes,.. For the large animals the SEA has: multiparameter monitors, defibrillators, anesthesia equipment with sebo / isoflorane, mechanical ventilators, RX (Philips and Siemens) equipment, equipment Trans-echocardiography and transesophageal echocardiography (Philips iE33), intravascular echocardiography (Siemens Acuson), real-time 3D imaging equipment (CartoXP), radiofrequency ablation equipment, 12-lead ECG.

The operating theaters can be used to teach microsurgery courses, experimental surgery, medical equipment presentations.

The Biomodule-SPF is a barrier area of 30m2 that can house up to 400 immunodeprimed mice. The entrance to the installation is through an air shower for people or a SAS of peroxide for materials. Work with animals is under biosafety hood, it has a preclinicalin vivo image system for fluorescence and / or bioluminescence (IVIS Spectrum) and inhalatory anesthesia equipment.


Institutional declaration on the use of experimental animals

The Institut de Recerca of the Santa Creu and Sant Pau Hospital (FIRHSCSP), hereinafter Institut de Recerca (IR), has adhered to the transparency agreement in animal experimentation, promoted by the Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain (COSCE), with the collaboration of the European Association for Animal Research (EARA) and launched on September 20, 2016. We are aware that animal research plays a fundamental role in the knowledge of the biological mechanisms that are involved in diseases and in the development of medical treatments. Without the use of animals, we would not have most of the medicines, antibiotics, vaccines and surgical techniques that are applied in human and veterinary care. Animal experimental research, which comprises part of the scientific work carried out at the IR,  is committed to improve people’s lives and is an essential component of  translational medicine  (cardiology, oncogenesis and antitumor treatments, neurodegenerative diseases, etc).

The welfare of experimental animals is a fundamental issue for the IR, as it is the strict respect and compliance with current legislation on the protection of animals used in experimentation and other scientific purposes, including teaching. Our goal is to achieve the highest standards of animal welfare, not only from the standpoint of human obligations to animals, but also because you could not reach highly qualified research without animal welfare. Our animal experimentation complies with legal standards and is reviewed by an ethical and scientific committee of animal experimentation, which promotes the use of alternative methods, the reduction of the number of animals used and, the refinement of experimental procedures. No research project requiring the use of animals can start without the required ethical evaluation and final approval by the respective competent authority.

The IR is also responsible for ensuring that both the animal care staff and the researchers involved in experimentation have the adequate training and knowledge, and is committed to providing the necessary resources for the proper maintenance of experimental animals in what refers to facilities, maintenance, welfare and veterinary care.

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