and rats, especially valuable genetically engineered animals, and SPF animals of other species.
Barrier facilities typically incorporate airlock or special entries (e.g., air or wet showers) for staff and supplies. Staff generally wear dedicated clothing and footwear, or freshly laundered, sterile, or disposable outer garments such as gowns, head and shoe covers, gloves, and sometimes face masks prior to entry. Consumables, such as feed or bedding, that may harbor infectious agents are autoclaved or are gamma-irradiated by the supplier and surface decontaminated on entry. Drinking water may be autoclaved or subject to specialized treatment (e.g., reverse osmosis filtration) to remove infectious agents. Caging and other materials with which the animals have direct contact may be sterilized after washing before reuse. Strict operational procedures are frequently established to preclude intermingling of clean and soiled supplies and personnel groups, depending on work function. Only animals of defined health status are received into the barrier, and once they leave they are prohibited from reentering without retesting. Personnel entry is restricted and those with access are appropriately trained in procedures that minimize the introduction of contaminants.
Engineering features may include high-level filtration of supply air (e.g., HEPA or 95% efficient filters), pressurization of the barrier with respect to surrounding areas, and directional airflow from clean to potentially contaminated areas. Specialized equipment augmenting the barrier may include isolator cages, individually ventilated cages, and animal changing stations.
Detailed information on barrier design, construction, and operations has been recently published (Hessler 2008; Lipman 2006, 2008).
In vivo imaging offers noninvasive methods for evaluating structure and function at the level of the whole animal, tissue, or cell, and allows for the sequential study of temporal events (Chatham and Blackband 2001; Cherry and Gambhir 2001). Imaging devices vary in the technology used to generate an image, body targets imaged, resolution, hazard exposure, and requirements for use. The devices may be self-shielded and require no modifications of the surrounding structure to operate safely, or they may require concrete, solid core masonry, lead-, steel-, or copper-lined walls, or other construction features to operate safely or minimize interference with devices and activities in adjacent areas. Because imaging devices are often expensive to acquire and maintain, and may require specialized support space and highly trained personnel to operate, shared animal imaging resources may be preferable.
Consideration should be given to the location of the imaging resource. Whether located in the animal facility or in a separate location, cross