Laboratory Animal Resources

UNC Charlotte’s Laboratory Animal Resources group is responsible for the care of all vertebrate animals at UNC Charlotte. We are committed to the provision of excellent veterinary care and laboratory animal management for all research animal subjects.

Our program has been fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALACi) since 2007, is reviewed semi-annually by UNC Charlotte’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and is subject to audit by the University’s Post-Approval Monitoring function. As a Research Facility, we maintain a Letter of Assurance (reflecting the University’s commitment to adherence to the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals) with the PHS’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare.

UNC Charlotte’s laboratory animal veterinarians and technical staff provide primary and veterinary care to all animals housed, as well as investigator training, technical assistance and guidance, and access to health status, laboratory, and imaging services. Our goal is the maintenance of an enriched, variable-free, secure, and humane environment for our animal subjects, as well as superb customer service for our research clients.

I. General Information – UNC Charlotte Laboratory Animal Resources

Tax ID Number56-0791228
DUNS Number06-630-0096
CAGE Code4B857 0029751000
AddressThe University of North Carolina at Charlotte
 9201 University City Blvd
 Charlotte, NC 28223
ContactDr. Angelica Martins
Phone(704) 687-1876
Fax(704) 687-1484
NAICS codes:611300, 541940, 115200

II. Capability Statement

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) is North Carolina’s urban research institution. A large, public university, more than 29,000 students call UNC Charlotte’s 1,000-acre campus their home away from home. Located in the state’s largest city, UNC Charlotte offers more than 170 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs as well as focused community engagement initiatives.

All faculty are encouraged to become involved in research-related activities and to seek external support for these activities. Collaboration with technology companies, governmental agencies, the private sector, and across disciplines, both within UNC Charlotte and with other universities, is growing. Biomedical research and graduate studies are inherently interlinked and mutually supportive. The research conducted at UNC Charlotte benefits people with immunosuppression, cancer and other diseases. Research is both applied and basic. The UNC Charlotte Vivarium Capability Statement is available as a PDF here.

Notable Aspects and Capabilities of the UNC Charlotte Vivarium include:

AAALAC Accredited

UNC Charlotte’s program of research animal care and use has been fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC) since 2007.

OLAW Animal Welfare Assurance

UNC Charlotte maintains a Letter of Assurance D16-00363 (A3600-001) with the Public Health Service’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).

Environmental monitoring/alarm system monitored 24/7/365

The Vivarium’s environmental monitoring, control and alarm systems integrate and coordinate the use of set of temperature, humidity, airflow, amperage draw and related sensors to provide timely and comprehensive data regarding room and mechanical condition. Key environment components monitored include:

  • Room temperature
  • Power failure
  • Room humidity
  • Air handler operation
  • Cooling system capacity utilization
  • Outside temperature and humidity
  • Airflow rates in cubic feet per minute
  • Room pressurization
  • Status of room lighting
  • Status of key mechanical components (e.g., chillers, boilers, pumps)

All metrics are monitored both on- and off-campus by UNC Charlotte Facilities Management. System diagnoses and adjustments can be made from any web-capable device. Animal room temperatures may be set individually, as can key environmental alarm set points.

Caliper IVIS Spectrum

The IVIS Spectrum is an optical imager used to facilitate non-invasive longitudinal monitoring of disease progression, cell trafficking and gene expression patterns in living animals. Filters and spectral un-mixing algorithms let the researcher take full advantage of bioluminescent and fluorescent reporters across the blue to near infrared wavelength region. It also offers single-view 3D tomography for both fluorescent and bioluminescent reporters that can be analyzed in an anatomical context using a Digital Mouse Atlas.

For advanced fluorescence imaging, the IVIS Spectrum has the capability to use either trans-illumination (from the bottom) or epi-illumination (from the top) to illuminate in vivo fluorescent sources. 3D diffuse fluorescence tomography can be performed to determine source localization and concentration using the combination of structured light and trans-illumination fluorescent images. The instrument is equipped with 10 narrow band excitation filters (30nm bandwidth) and 18 narrow band emission filters (20nm bandwidth) that assist in significantly reducing autofluorescence by the spectral scanning of filters and the use of spectral unmixing algorithms. In addition, the spectral unmixing tools allow the researcher to separate signals from multiple fluorescent reporters within the same animal.

UNC Charlotte’s IVIS Spectrum is located within the secure research animal facility in Woodward Hall.

Faxitron CP160 Irradiation System

A smaller, simpler, safer alternative to radioisotope irradiators, the Faxitron CP160 is ideal for a variety of irradiation applications, from animal and cell studies to electronics components testing.

The CP160 comes with a dual focal spot x-ray tube – one spot for irradiation and a smaller spot that’s suitable for imaging. A 2 RPM electrically operated turntable helps ensure uniform dosing. Controls are user friendly, allowing operation by persons with no previous x-ray training. Additional technical information pertaining to UNC Charlotte’s Faxitron CP160 may be found at Faxitron’s website.

LabRepCo BSC-II Biosafety Cabinets/Animal Transfer Stations

The Vivarium is equipped with four (4) stationary LabRepCo BSC-II biosafety cabinets, as well as four (4) mobile Allentown Caging Equipment animal transfer stations.

IsoTech/SurgiVet Isoflurane Vaporizers (8) are serviced annually in-house via a certified vaporizer service provider.

UNC Charlotte’s eight (8) SurgiVet isoflurane vaporizers are serviced annually by means of a vaporizer “exchange” in which they are replaced with units certified by the manufacturer.

Microisolator and IVC-rodent caging available

Three Allentown Caging Equipment Model PNC75JU140SP ventilated mouse racks are in use in the Vivarium. Test data provided by the manufacturer show typical cage air exchange rates of 58 to 60 changes per hour, airflows of 0.20 cubic feet per minute and a nominal air velocity (in the cage) of 69 linear feet per minute. These racks are configured to draw supply air from the animal room, and exhaust directly to the Vivarium’s exhaust air intakes. No recycling of air takes place.

Antibody Production, Rodent Breeding, ADME, Acute and Subacute Toxicology Experience

Veterinarian, ACLAM Diplomate