The Transgenic Animal Core Facility (TACF) at West Virginia University is a fee-for-service facility that is housed within the specific pathogen-free (SPF) barrier in the animal quarters at the WVU Health Sciences Center. Our services within the TACF are available to investigators at WVU and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. The services currently include 1) pronuclear injection of DNA fragments into mouse embryos for producing transgenic animals (for both short fragments and BAC clones); 2) CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing; 3) mouse embryonic stem cell injections into developing blastocysts for chimera production; 4) rederivation of infected strains through embryo transfer; 5) embryo and germ cell cryopreservation and resuscitation of frozen strains; 6) cryogenic storage of valuable strains; and 7) selected colony management services, including speed congenics.
The barrier facility became operational in January 2004 for housing SPF animals and producing genetically modified animals. The TACF is housed in the new WVU Animal Facility Annex with special accommodation for transgenic production within the new barrier facility there. The current space occupies approximately 2,500 sf of space, including three animal holding rooms (two mouse holding and one for rederivation) and a transgenic production lab facility. Major equipment includes a stereomicroscope for animal surgery and embryo manipulation, an inverted microscope with Nomarski optics for DNA and ES cell injection, an Invitrogen Neon electroporator, a Sutter micropipette puller, an isoflurane anesthesia delivery system, CO2 cell culture incubators, a laminar flow hood, gel electrophoresis apparatus, controlled-rate freezer, liquid nitrogen cell storage tanks, Eppendorf micromanipulators, and a FemtoJet pressure injection system.
In addition to the transgenic production and strain preservation services offered by the core, we also maintain a breeding colony of Nod-SCID-gamma (NSG) animals for WVU investigator use. These NSG animals are offered for sale at a significant discount to commercial vendors and provide WVU investigators needed animals for cancer cell imaging studies and expansion of human tumor xenografts.