Home Research Embryotechnologie-Labor

Embryo Technology Laboratory

Modern technology for efficient breeding management and animal welfare

Cooperation partners

In the interest of animal welfare as well as reproducibility of experiments, it is essential to maintain a defined health status (specific pathogen free; SPF) in our animal breeding facility. For this purpose, the method of so-called embryo transfer is used. Embryo technology can also be used to cryopreserve mouse lines that are temporarily not needed in order to limit the number of animals bred to the absolute minimum. For these technologies, the DRFZ maintains a modern embryo technology laboratory at the Berlin Marienfelde site.

The following services are offered:

1) Embryo transfer. To ensure a defined health status of the animals in the SPF facility, new mouse strains are imported via embryo transfer. First, 2-cell embryos (generated via in vitro fertilization) are intensively washed to remove all pathogens. Subsequently they are implanted into pseudo pregnant females and the resulting offspring is born within the SPF facility.

2) Cryopreservation of sperm and embryos. Mouse strains that are temporarily not needed can be stored as sperm or embryos in liquid nitrogen. Frozen material is also excellent for shipping mouse lines worldwide, making it unnecessary to ship live animals in many cases.

3) In vitro fertilisation (IVF). Artificial insemination is generally a very efficient method for creating embryos. It is also used to restore mouse lines from frozen sperm.

Fig. 1: Workflow of services offered by the Embryo Technology Laboratory. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is used to generate large numbers of 2-cell embryos. These embryos as well as sperm from transgenic mice can be cryoconserved in liquid nitrogen. To remove any pathogens, embryos are washed extensively before transfer into pseudo-pregnant foster mice inside the SPF facility.

Fig. 2: Washing of embryos. The fertilized oocyte is protected by the zona pellucida which is impermeable for pathogens. Residual sperm is still sticking to the zona.

Fig. 3: Developmental stages of mouse embryos. a) Sperm and oocytes (hidden in the cumulus cells) 5 min after IVF. b) 45 min after IVF, sperm almost completely dissolved the cumulus cells. c) 2-cell embryos. d) 4- and 8-cell embryos. e) Morula stage. f) Blastocysts.

Chronic Immune Reactions Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Hutloff Phone +49 (0)30 28460-792 hutloff@drfz.de more
Continue to Members

Scientific facility management
Dr. Lena Reiske

Technical staff
Paolo Rosellini Tognetti

Continue to Cooperation partners
  • Uwe Klemm, Experimental Animals, Max-Planck-Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin
  • Geert Michel, Transgenic Technologies, FEM, Charité University Medicine Berlin
  • Ronald Naumann, Transgenic Core Facility, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden
  • Frank Zimmermann, Biotechnology Laboratory, University Heidelberg
  • Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, Dummerstorf
Continue to Introduction
Sign up for the
DRFZ NewsFlash