Envigo, a leading provider of nonclinical contract research services and research models, announced today the implementation of a first-in-class surgical model tracking system, designed to track and monitor the entire spectrum of surgical model development – enabling critically required efficiencies while enhancing animal welfare. The system, which tracks both animals and surgeons, works by implanting RFID microchips in each surgically-modified animal model allowing Envigo to record real-time, accurate data on animals in surgery. This system includes proper surgical information on the weight, date of birth of animals, surgical preparation; catheters and implants; analgesics and anaesthetics; length of surgery; post-operative care and recovery, and finally, inventory and shipments. The major benefits for researchers are a reduction of the number of rodents used in research and improvements in surgery and study accuracy.
The new technology is designed to limit human error by permanently identifying each rodent’s status through all stages of the surgical process, and to provide Envigo with better access to inventory, effective metrics on particular aspects of surgical procedures, and a mechanism for ensuring that the right medications are taken at the right time. Additionally, this system adds an extra layer of quality assurance, meaning that customers can be sure the right model has been supplied for surgical procedures.
Finally, by creating a digital repository, the system streamlines the regulatory compliance challenges of existing electronic documentation approaches, including failure to compile required data.
Brad Gien, Head of North America Surgery at Envigo commented: “The innovative tracking system is the first software tracking system to be introduced into the surgical space. The initiative forms part of our company’s commitment to the 3Rs strategy on animal testing – refine, reduce and replace. The technology refines surgical outcomes and animal health. In terms of efficiencies, our own studies have shown that the system is estimated to reduce the number of animals required for surgery and inventory. It is the first ever effective serialization system for rodents and serves to improve the outcomes of surgical services for the pre-clinical research industry.”