Aseptic Technique in Rodent Surgery : Instruments

Key Points

  • Instruments must be sterilised before they are used for aseptic surgery.
  • Ideally, a separate set of sterilised instruments should be used for each animal.
  • For batch surgery for rodents, an acceptable compromise is to sterilise the instrument tips using a hot bead steriliser.
  • Instruments first need to be cleaned using a sterile brush, in sterile water, to avoid becoming clogged with organic material.
  • Sterile water must be used, not saline for cleaning instruments before use of a hot-bead steriliser.
  • The instrument tips are briefly placed into the hot-bead steriliser, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Replace them on a sterile drape, ready for use on the next animal.
  • Briefly immersing instruments in alcohol is NOT an effective means of sterilisation.

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A comprehensive guide to help research workers apply best practice in aseptic surgical techniques in laboratory rodents.

The material was developed by Newcastle University with the support of the NC3Rs.

National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research. Newcastle University

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