Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every three months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

Links to the full text for publications that appear in open access journals or are published on the AWI website are provided under the abstract.

Tips for using the database:

  • This landing page displays all of the publications in the database.
  • Use the drop-down menus to filter these publications by Animal Type and/or Topic.
  • Clicking on a parent category (e.g., Rodent) will include publications relating to all the items in that category (e.g., Chinchilla, Gerbil, Guinea pig, etc.).
  • You may also add a keyword to further narrow your search.
  • Please note that at this time, only publications dated 2010 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Animal Type and Topic. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

In mouse (Mus musculus) models of diabetic nephropathy (DN), one of the most important read-outs is the 24-h urinary albumin excretion (UAE). The 24-h urine collection is usually performed by single housing mice in metabolic...

Hamsters have historically been used in our pharmacokinetic (PK) studies using the retro-orbital (RO) bleeding technique to collect blood samples. If performed incorrectly, this technique has the potential for animal welfare complications not usually seen...

This is the 5th volume of selected discussions that took place on the electronic Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum between February 2016 and December 2019. The forum was created in October 2002; it allows...

This poster describes how the Animal Technologists at Envigo adapted their current practices and procedures for a new species at their laboratory: the cotton rat. The paper describes cotton rat biology and behaviour; housing; environmental...

Blood sampling is often performed in laboratory mice. Sampling techniques have the potential to cause pain, distress and impact on lifetime cumulative experience. In spite of institutions commonly providing guidance to researchers on these methods...

Skin closure clips are widely used within the University of Edinburgh to close incision sites for various procedures in both rats and mice. In rats the skin closure clips very often come out as a...

This poster will describe the implementation by Animal Technologists and Named Persons of a well published refined bleeding technique. Establishing The Francis Crick Institute from legacy institutes required a standardised approach for many techniques, including...

There is a growing interest in the use of voluntarily displayed ongoing behaviours in laboratory animals to assess the pain experience. In rats, two behavioural pain scales, the Rat Grimace Scale (RGS, a facial expression...

We compared 6 frequently used mouse blood-sampling methods (lateral tail incision; tail-tip amputation; sublingual, submandibular, and saphenous vein puncture; and retrobulbar sinus puncture during isoflurane anesthesia) with regard to induction of local and systemic inflammation...

Germ-free rats are fairly uncommon, relative to germ-free mice, and restraining these animals safely and effectively for compound administration and blood collection can be challenging. There are many commercially available varieties of restraint devices, but...

Interstitial fluid (ISF) has recently garnered interest as a biological fluid that could be used as an alternate to blood for biomedical applications, diagnosis, and therapy. ISF extraction techniques are promising because they are less...

This study was conducted to investigate the effects of blood sampling on animal welfare in a total of 60 NTac:SD rats and 72 C57BL/6NTac mice of both sexes. Blood was sampled either by sublingual vein...

This feature describes creative ways in which technology can be used to study animals within their home cages, eliminating the need to handle, restrain, and separate them from cage mates. One example includes voluntary brain...

A common method for urine collection from rats requires the use of a metabolic cage, thus exposing animals to extended periods of isolation in an unfamiliar cage with a wire-mesh floor. A new method involving...

Many biomedical research protocols for mouse models involve serial blood collection and analysis. Two common techniques for serial blood collection in this species are the retrobulbar (RB, also called retroorbital) and facial vein (FV) methods...

Aggression is a major welfare issue in mice, particularly when mice unfamiliar to each other are first placed in cages, as happens on receipt from a vendor, and following cage cleaning. Injuries from aggression are...

The RSPCA/UFAW Rodent (and now Rabbit) Welfare Group held a one-day meeting on 1 November 2016 at the University of Edinburgh and was attended by 70 delegates. Presentation topics included refinements in blood sampling rodents...

The cannulation of the cisterna magna in rats for in vivo sampling of cerebrospinal fluid serves as a valuable model for studying the delivery of new drugs into the central nervous system or disease models...

Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are used as an animal model for research on gallbladder stones and several infectious diseases. A comprehensive, instructive resource regarding the appropriate techniques for venipuncture and collection of nonterminal blood...

Tail tip amputation with minimal restraint is not widely used for mouse phlebotomy. In part, this infrequency may reflect policies influenced by tail tip amputation procedures for genotyping, which involve greater handling and tissue removal...

Laboratory animals are still necessary in scientific investigation and vaccine testing, but while novel methodological approaches are not available for their replacement, the search for new, humane, easy, and painless methods is necessary to diminish...

The most common methods for rabbit urine collection are newborn stroking, cystocentesis, and transfer to a metabolism cage.2 None of these options allow for a significant, quality amount of urine to be collected in vivo...

Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models are created using fragments of human tumors subcutaneously implanted into immunodeficient mice. Solid tumor engraftment of mice is commonly performed with a 10-13 gauge trocar needle under general anesthesia. In this...

Traditional pharmacokinetic analysis in nonclinical studies is based on the concentration of a test compound in plasma and requires approximately 100 to 200 μL blood collected per time point. However, the total blood volume of...

The beneficial effects of environment and social support during disease recovery in humans are widely accepted. Because laboratory mice are social animals and are highly motivated to interact with each other and with their environment...

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