Animal research and the establishment of institutions dedicated to animal research are both essential components of the activity of biomedical research. Research and development on human health care uses animal models since their immune systems, chromosomal structures, and biological systems closely resemble our own. This is true at every level of the process, from discovery through growth and safety testing to clinical trials and manufacturing.
An animal research facility, often called a vivarium lab, is a specialized form of structure that provides highly controlled settings for the purpose of providing care and upkeep for experimental animals.
Research labs are closely connected to animal research facilities; however, they are not the same thing. The facilities are difficult to construct and very costly to run, but they are absolutely necessary for ensuring that research is carried out in an ethical, secure, and responsible manner.
Clients are putting pressure on project design teams to make labs that meet current and future needs, encourage scientists from different fields to work together, help find and keep qualified scientists, and make partnerships and development easier.
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Vivarium Lab Fundamentals
The fundamental characteristics of vivariums are consistent regardless of whether they are an integral part of a laboratory building, an independent structure that is attached to a laboratory building, or an independent structure that stands alone.
Through their design and construction systems, they maintain strict environmental control to minimize the entrance of toxins or pathogens, prevent contagious outbreaks, and eliminate smells. The primary purpose of these establishments is to provide for the animals that are used in scientific research and experiments.
Foster an environment that is easy to maintain and clean. Create order in the flow of traffic so that people, animals, and materials as well as supplies and garbage may be moved in a regulated manner.
The operator must have the capacity to maintain environmental control inside areas and between circulation channels, as well as the ability to prevent contamination or infection. These factors, in turn, have an effect on the proportions of the rooms, the atmosphere in the rooms, and the circulation patterns in the rooms.
Be Mindful Of Security
The use of animals in research is a touchy subject, and the architects of the facilities where it takes place need to have a heightened awareness of the concerns surrounding security management in order to preserve secrecy and stop illegal incursions.
It is essential that there be no failures, interruptions, or downtime throughout the process of continuously maintaining the conditions at these facilities. Animal Housing Rooms, often known as AHRs, are equipped with sinks, cages, and changing stations for bedding.
In close proximity to the AHRs and usually interchangeable with them, the Procedure Rooms serve as the principal location for research-related activities taking place inside the unit. A significant challenge that has to be addressed is finding a way to provide researchers access to protected areas while maintaining their anonymity.
Airlocks, lockers, and pass-through autoclaves are examples of barrier elements (https://www.guwsmedical.info/laboratory-animals/barrier-animal-housing.html#:). These act as the first line of defense against intrusion into the carefully regulated environment of animal care.
The Cage Wash serves as the central location for all tasks relating to cleaning, sanitation, and husbandry. These zones are dominated by the heat and moisture that are created by the equipment. Rack washers, tunnel washers, autoclaves, bedding dispensers, and dump stations are among the most important pieces of equipment.
Cage Storage is an essential function, but it is also a space eater, and regrettably, space is sometimes in low supply. Storage is an essential area and function that must be included in the operating flow and space allocation in order to meet the requirements of feed, bedding, and equipment.
Logistics Also Matter
Dedicated Receiving Dock
In most cases, it is necessary to have a dock that is designed specifically for animal purposes. In close proximity to the pier, there should be an elevator that is only for the use of animals.
Necropsy or autopsy, and perfusion are both critical support functions that are used during postmortem operations on animals that have been slaughtered. Clean locations should not be near “dirty” functions.
Facilities for the containment of potentially contagious biological agents are referred to as containment facilities. They function in conditions of negative pressure in order to prevent air from leaking out into the surrounding environment. The effluents and wastes are separated into their own containers and decontaminated. Air pressure and flow are tightly monitored and regulated using sophisticated systems and equipment for monitoring and control.
Barrier Facilities are facilities that are used while dealing with animals who have weakened immune systems. These systems function under positive pressure in order to prevent pollutants from entering.
Clinical chemistry, histology, and other veterinary care tasks are all included in the term “veterinary care.”
Office Space for Veterinarians
There should be some allocation of in-unit office space for veterinarians and other veterinary care professionals.
Staff Support Areas are a Break Area, as well as Cafeterias, Workstations, Lockers, and Restroom Facilities. All of these things are designed to help the research and veterinary professionals when they are stationed in the unit.