Contact Information

  • Division Secretary

    General Questions
    Phone: 404.727.7423
    Fax: 404.727.3212
    Email Us

  • Customer Service

    Phone: 404.727.8395
    Fax: 404.727.8762
    Email Us

  • Animal Orders & Transfers
    Phone: 404.727.7426
    Fax: 404.727.8762
    Email Us

    Smartkeys Add/Modify
    Phone: 404.727.7426
    Phone: 404.727.3210
    Fax: 404.727.8762
    Email Us

  • Facility Access

    Normal Business Hours

    (Monday thru Friday, 8AM - 5PM)

    Phone: 404.727.8991

    After Normal Business Hours

    (Weekends, Holidays & After Hours: 5PM - 8AM)

    Phone: 404.727.6111

  • Animal Care & Husbandry

    Normal Business Hours

    (Monday thru Friday, 8AM - 5PM)

    Phone: 404.727.2955

  • Veterinary Medical Needs

    Normal Business Hours

    (Monday thru Friday, 8AM - 5PM)

    Phone: 404.727.3248

  • After Normal Business Hours

    (Weekends, Holidays & After Hours: 5PM - 8AM)

    Phone: 404.727.6111

Postal Mailing Address

  • 615 Michael Street
    Whitehead Biomedical Research Bldg
    Suite G-02
    Atlanta, GA 30322
    MAILSTOP: 1941-001-1AA

  • Business Hours

  • Monday - Friday
    8:00AM - 5:00PM

Surgical Resources

Guidelines for Aseptic Survival Surgery on Rodents

Instrument Preparation

All instruments must be cleaned and sterilized prior to use. First, clean instruments of any debris by hand washing or by mechanical washer/sterilizer. The method of choice may be determined by the procedure or the delicacy of the surgical instruments or the devices being used.

Smooth, Hard Metal Instruments and Polyethlene Tubing and Catheters.

Heat Sterilization

  • Steam Autoclave

    The instruments should be placed in a specially designed pack or wrapped in sterile in drapes or cloths. This should be secured with a thermosensitive tape. Use of such tape provides some indication that the autoclave procedure was effective. Instruments should be autoclaved for 4 minutes at 132oC (270oF) and dried for 3 minutes in a vacuum autoclave. Different times are required for gravity autoclaves. Once autoclaved, packs or wrapped instruments should be stored in closed cabinets. Double wrapped packs can be considered sterile for six weeks. Storage on open shelves reduces this number to three weeks. Single-wrapped packs maintain sterility for 3 weeks. Note that steam is unsuitable for plastic with a low melting point, powders or anhydrous solutions.

  • Flash Steam

    Used to sterilize articles intended to be used immediately. The temperature must reach 132 degrees Centigrade for three to five minutes.

  • Sterile Bead Sterilizer

    These are handy accessories that will sterilize a metal instrument in 10 seconds. However, instruments must be cleaned of debris and the beads should be cleaned or replaced monthly. Instruments should also be appropriate size for the unit. This type of sterilization is ideal for multiple animal surgeries. NOTE: Most sterile bead sterilizers take thirty minutes to heat up.

Cold (Chemical) Sterilization

Effective and proper use of chemical sterilization is dependent on many factors, including the use of chemicals classified as sterilants (not disinfectants), physical properties of the item(s) being sterilized (i.e., smooth, impervious to moisture, clean) and assurance of proper exposure. Chemical sterilants have finite shelf lives and must be used, depending on the agent, within one to four weeks. Furthermore, the solutions must be protected from contamination. Effective cold sterilization requires thorough cleaning of instruments prior to processing because blood and organic debris may inactivate chemical germicides and/or shield microorganisms from the sterilization process. Clean tupperware-type containers with secure lids or stainless steel instrument trays and lids are recommended for cold sterilization procedures and instrument storage. Sterile water or saline should be used to rinse the instruments, implants and tubing (inside and outside) prior to use to avoid tissue damage to the animals. The following are acceptable chemical sterilants:

  • Alcide®
  • Active ingredient: Chorine dioxide 1.37%. Exposure time must exceed 6 hours. Shelf life is 14 days.
  • Alcohol
  • 70-90%; requires 16 hour contact time; may rust or corrode instruments; alcohol is not fungicidal, virucidal or sporicidal. Of controversial value.
  • Cetylcide-G
  • Active ingredient: 3.2% denatured glutaraldehyde. Exposure time of 20 minutes will kill all but bacterial spores. Full sterilization requires 10 hours. Shelf life is 28 days.
  • Cidex®
  • Active ingredient: 2% glutaraldehyde. Exposure time must exceed 10 hours for sterilization. Shelf life is 14 or 28 days depending on the product.
  • Endospore®
  • Active ingredient: stabilized hydrogen peroxide 6%. Not acceptable for metallic items.
  • Sporicidin®
  • Active ingredient (activator + buffer): phenol 7.05%, glutaraldehyde 2%, sodium phenate 1.2%. Exposure time must exceed 6.75 hours for sterilization. Shelf life is 28 days.

Ethylene Oxide Gas

This is only to be used with instruments that will be damaged by heat or steam sterilization. This process is toxic, expensive and is regulated by federal law. Negotiate arrangements with Emory University Hospital sterile supply. Fine gauge catheters may be sterilized with ethylene oxide gas on the cool cycle.

Volatile Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP)

Safe and ideal for most applications. Requires an expensive generator.