Welcome to the Animal Models Core

We offer production, validation and use of CRISPR/Cas9 custom nucleases for production of mutant mice, rats or cell lines! As an early adopter of CRISPR/Cas9 technology, we have developed deep expertise in the use of CRISPR/Cas9 nucleases for genome editing. Contact us today to discuss your project needs.

The UNC Animal Models Core Facility provides mouse and rat genetic modification services, reagents and related technologies. The Core's services are available to both UNC and Non-UNC clients.

CRISPR/Cas9 Mediated Mouse Engineering: The CRISPR/Cas9 technology allows production of knockout, knock-in or conditional knockout mice by direct pronuclear injection in embryos. This allows your mutant strain to be produced in as little as 3-4 months! The modification does not require the use of selectable markers, allowing precise insertion of point mutations (e.g. SNPs), protein tags, humanization, etc.

Transgenic mice are routinely generated in C57BL/6 strain, with other strains such as FVB, hybrid or customer-provided strains available upon request. Services for creating transgenic mice include transgene design, construct generation, isolation of the transgene fragment, pronuclear microinjection, founder genotyping and breeding. The core also offers the full suite of services for BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) recombineering and BAC transgene microinjection.

Knockout mice - ES Cell Targeting: knockout mice, conditional knockout mice, knock-in mice, etc. can be produced by gene targeting in ES cells from C57BL/6, BALB/c or 129P2/Ola strains. Services include design and cloning of targeting vectors, creating gene-targeted ES cells, blastocyst microinjection of the ES cells to create transmitting chimeras and chimera breeding for germline transmission and selectable marker removal.  The core can also provide Southern blot validation and blastocyst microinjection of ES cells from EUCOMM, KOMP or other consortia. Additional services include Cre- or Flp-mediated excision in ES cells or in vivo, chromosome counting, PCR screening, Southern blotting and recombineering for production of BAC targeting vectors.

Transgenic and knockout rats can be produced by pronuclear injection in the SD strain, with other strains available upon request. Rat services include transgene or BAC transgene production, design and validation of CRISPR/Cas9 nucleases, design and engineering of targeting constructs for knock-in or conditional knockout rat generation, pronuclear injection, founder genotyping and breeding.

Reproductive Services. We now offer reproductive services including sperm and embryo cryopreservation, strain resuscitation from frozen embryos, strain rederivation, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Requesting Services - UNC Clients. To obtain transgenic or gene-targeted mouse services, UNC clients must fill out the "AMC Service Request Form" (see "forms and fees") and email the electronic copy to the core director. The client must provide assurance that an "Application to Use Live Vertebrate Animals" covering the genetically modified animals to be made by the facility has been approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The client must also provide the grant or source of funds to pay for reagents and services and a contact person in the client's lab that acts as a contact between the facility and client.

Requesting Services -Non-UNC ClientsContact the core director for a free consultation and custom project quote.