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Preclinical Facility

The Preclinical Facility (PCF) supports all life scientists who use laboratory rodents for their research.

All animals in the facility are strictly kept in accordance with the valid Austrian and European regulations to fulfill all national and international recommendations and demands in terms of animal health, genetic monitoring and animal welfare.

Additionally, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) is committed to the 3Rs principle for ethical use of animals in order to promote the most dignified and respectful practice with animals in scientific research. Read more about the 3Rs principle and the statement of ISTA concerning its contribution in fulfilling the ethical responsibility of using animals in scientific research.

Main Tasks

  • maintenance of mouse and rat strains
  • genetic monitoring of all animals
  • transgenic services
  • providing space and equipment for behavioral studies of rodents
  • veterinary support
  • administrative support for scientists
  • training and education of all staff working with laboratory rodents regarding ethical, legal and technical issues of animal handling 

On this site:

Animal House

The Animal House has been in operation since January 2011 and moved to its current newly built facility in February 2016. All animals are kept in the best conditions and handled by qualified employees, only.

The Animal House provides …

  • space for 8’400 mouse cages and 300 rat cages on three floors in 17 animal rooms
  • behavioral area in two rooms

The PCF Lab and the Transgenic Services are also located in the Animal House to ensure efficient sample processing and routines. 


  • breeding and maintenance of rats and transgenic mouse strains
  • timed mating of mice
  • tissue sampling
  • veterinary care and support
  • import of animals from commercial suppliers and research institutions/collaborators
  • export of animals to research collaborators
  • administrative support with ethical applications and all legal issues related to the work with laboratory animals
  • support with setup of experiments
  • regular and individual training courses combining biology, ethics and legal issues with practical training of handling and various techniques according to FELASA guidelines for all staff                  


  • Biosafety Level class 2 working benches
  • HEPA-filtered pass through locks including working benches
  • Leica M165 FCStereomicroscope, Flourescence (mCherry, YFP, GFP), External light source EL 6000
  • Ventilated cabinets – Scantainer I-110
  • Behavioral equipment, e.g. IntelliCages, several Mazes, Light/Dark chamber


The PCF Lab is responsible for the genotyping of the laboratory rodents bred in the PCF. The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is the most common method to determine the genotype of laboratory animals.


  • genotyping of all mouse strains maintained in the Animal House
  • data documentation
  • development of protocols
  • administrative support of research groups
  • support the research groups with setup of animal colonies


  • Biozym Thermal cycler
  • Biorad C1000 touch Thermal cycler
  • BioRad GelDoc XR+ gel documentation system
  • Pequlab centrifuge and minicentrifuge
  • Promega Maxwell, DNA preparation system (automated tissue preparation)
  • Leica MZ 10FStereomicroscope, Flourescence (mCherry, YFP, GFP) 

Transgenic Services

The Embryo Transfer and Transgenic Unit provides scientists with such services as rederivation, cryopreservation and revitalization of strains from frozen embryos or sperm. It also supports researchers with transgenic projects by offering microinjection services of different types.


  • cryopreservation
  • rederivation
  • revitalization
  • pronuclear injection
  • ES cells injection 


  • ESCO in vitro fertilization workstations
  • Stationary surgery microscopes Olympus SZX7 with heating and transmitted light
  • M80 Leica stereomicroscope
  • M125 Leica stereomicroscope
  • Inverted microscope
  • CO2 incubators Memmert INC108med
  • CO2 incubator, Eppendorf
  • Electric controlled rate freezer for straws (VIA Freezer from Asymptote)
  • LN2 storage tanks 
  • Several table autoclaves (MELAG, Bartelt)
  • Glass bead sterilizers
  • Control units for temperature sensors and warming plates
  • Microinjector

Preclinical Facility Lectures

Animal Handling course for rodents and fish – together with Lab Support Facility
for all PhD students, postdocs and scientists who stay longer than three months at ISTA and need to work with laboratory rodents and/or fish
3-day course, once a year in fall
mandatory course, including theory and practical training

Crash Course on animal handling
mandatory for all scientific interns, visiting scientists who stay up to three months or less at ISTA and need to work with laboratory rodents
no lecture, 1 day, individually

Introduction to Preclinical Facility (“Animal House”)
mandatory for all scientists who need access to the facility and work with laboratory animals
no lecture, 2 hours, individually

Individual trainings on specific topics for the work with laboratory rodents


Institute of Science and Technology Austria
c/o Preclinical Facility
Am Campus 1, A-3400 Klosterneuburg, Austria

Contact for facility questions:

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