Where Ideas Grow

Animal Facility

The i3S animal facility is an animal facility dedicated to the production and maintenance of laboratory animals. The facility provides care and veterinary advice on laboratory animals, mainly mice, rats and rabbits and holds approximately 2500 cages of laboratory rodents in SPF conditions. Zebrafish (associated with the Vertebrate Development and Regeneration group, José Bessa) and seabass (associated with the Fish Immunology and Vaccinology group, Nuno Santos) models are available. The aim of the facility is to support scientific projects associated with animal experimentation and to ensure high animal welfare standards throughout the development of such projects by encouraging the application of the 3R’s and high quality animal research. The development of new models (mainly surgical) is supported by the veterinary and technical team and by the recently implemented unit for the generation of genetically modified mice. The animal facility also allows the development of projects associated with microbiological risk agents (level 2 and 3). The facility participates in the educational process of researchers, users and staff by advising and training on laboratory animal science and promoting practices that lead to better animal use, maintaining high levels of animal welfare.

Platform Head



Some of the equipment available at the animal facility require previous training. Some of these are also associated with a user fee. Please contact the animal facility for more information.


Ivis Lumina series III

Equipment available for living image with bioluminescence and fluorescence techniques. This equipment is ideal for longitudinal studies, increases the amount of information obtained from the same animal and helps reducing the number of animals needed per experiment. The system has an incorporated volatile anesthesia machine, allowing anesthesia with isoflurane.

The use of this equipment requires previous training.



Vevo Ultrasound 2100

Equipment available to perform high frequency ultrasounds. The MicroScan transducer provides increased frame rates, contrast and a high resolution (30 micron resolution). Microultrasound can be used for non-invasive living imaging for anatomical and functional evaluation of different organ systems. The ultrasound is associated with an isoflurane anesthesia system and with a heated stage for microinjection.

The use of this equipment requires prior training.




The Owandy intraoral x-ray gives you anatomical information by the acquisition of digital x-rays. This system is especially useful for hard tissue analyze, such as bone.

The use of this equipment requires prior training.



Stereomicroscopes (Zeiss Discovery V8 and Olympus SZX 10, Leica S8APO)

Several stereomicroscopes can be used for microsurgery and animal/ sample dissection. With zoom between 0.8 to 8 and 0.63 to 6.3 and cold LED for illumination. One stereomicroscope with heated stage and fluorescence filters is also available.



Perfusion pump

One perfusion pump is available for whole body perfusion of small rodents. 


Volatile Anesthesia systems and recovery chamber

Volatile anesthesia systems with isoflurane vaporizers are available to perform anesthesia in small rodents. One rodent recovery chamber is available for animal recovery at a specific temperature.



Micromotor K-5 Plus Kavo

The micromotor can be used to perform small defects in hard structures such as bone. Several defect sizes can be performed by using different drills.


Erbotom coagulator

Equipment available for electrocoagulation during surgery.



This equipment allows the production of medullar lesions by contusion.



Coloview – Small animal endoscopy

Equipment for mouse and rat in vivo colonoscopy with biopsy forceps.


The animal facility provides several services to support the work developed by different research groups. These services are available to internal users and also to external users upon request.

Services available:

  • Maintenance and breeding of mouse transgenic strains (includes also timed pregnant females)
  • Production of mice and rats of several strains (NMRI, CD1, BALB/c, C57BL/6, C3H, FVB, Sv129, Nude mice and Wistar han rats)
  • Rederivation of mice strains (embryo transfer)
  • Cryopreservation of mouse embryos
  • Polyclonal antibody production in rat and rabbit
  • Training and support in the application of different administration and collection techniques: intravenous, intracardiac, intradermal, subcutaneous, intraperitoneal, oral gavage
  • Training and support in the development of surgical models
  • Health monitoring of mouse and rat colonies
  • Level 2 and level 3 infectious models and rooms
  • Support in the use of specific equipment: IVIS Lumina, Ultrasound, X-Ray
  • Oncological models development
  • Genetically modified mice production by pronuclear/cytoplasm injection


Access to the animal facility requires specific training. Legal requirements and internal rules are:

  • License to work with laboratory animals (provided by the competent authority in Portugal –DGAV)
  • Training in laboratory animal science (FELASA or FELASA equivalent to a level B or C)
  • Complete the internal training program (more information available at www.portal.i3s.up.pt)

The facility organizes frequently laboratory animal training sessions in several areas and participates in the organization of the FELASA C course and the internal Introductory Course in Laboratory Animal Science (equivalent to the FELASA B). For more information about training opportunities, please consult the training webpage.