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Baran S.W.,Veterinary Bioscience Institute | Baran S.W.,Drexel University | Johnson E.J.,Harleysville Veterinary Hospital | Kehler J.,University of Pennsylvania | Hankenson F.C.,University of Pennsylvania
Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science | Year: 2010

The development of new rodent models of human disease and advances in surgical equipment and technologies have increased the demand for expertise in rodent surgery. Because of the limited availability of rodent surgical training courses, electronic (e-) learning is presented as an alternative to in-person education and as a means to hone the expertise of current surgeons in biomedical research, similar to e-learning applications for human surgery training. Translating this model to the biomedical research field provides participants with an opportunity to train themselves on rodent surgical techniques prior to operating on live models. An e-learning rodent surgery course was incorporated into a training class of undergraduate (n = 39) and graduate (n = 12) laboratory animal students, and a portion of the course was presented to laboratory animal professionals (n = 15). The effectiveness of the method was evaluated using written examination and postcourse surveys. The exam data demonstrated that the e-learning course transferred knowledge comparable to a lecture course on surgery that was presented in-person. Students responded favorably to videos, step-by-step photographs of surgical procedures, and the ready accessibility of the course. Critiques included the need to improve video resolution and quality of the voice-overs. These results support the continued development and implementation of electronic rodent surgical technique courses for use in laboratory animal and biomedical research communities. Copyright 2010 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. Source

Clifford P.,Animal Care Training Services | Melfi N.,Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals | Bogdanske J.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Johnson E.J.,Veterinary Bioscience Institute | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science | Year: 2013

Personnel working with laboratory animals are required by laws and guidelines to be trained and qualified to perform biomethodologic procedures. The assessment of competency and proficiency is a vital component of a laboratory animal training program, because this process confirms that the trainees have met the learning objectives for a particular procedure. The approach toward qualification assessment differs between organizations because laws and guidelines do not outline how the assessment should be performed or which methods and tools should be used. Assessment of clinical and surgical medicine has received considerable attention over the last few decades and has progressed from simple subjective methods to welldefined and objective methods of assessing competency. Although biomethodology competency and proficiency assessment is discussed in the literature, a standard and objective assessment method has not yet been developed. The development and implementation of an objective and standardized biomethodologic assessment program can serve as a tool to improve standards, ensure consistent training, and decrease research variables yet ensure animal welfare. Here we review the definition and goals of training and assessment, review assessment methods, and propose a method to develop a standard and objective assessment program for the laboratory animal science field, particularly training departments and IACUC. Copyright 2013 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. Source

Baran S.W.,Veterinary Bioscience Institute | Perret-Gentil I. M.,University of Texas at San Antonio | Johnson E.J.,Putney Inc. | Miedel E.L.,University of Pennsylvania | Kehler J.,University of Pennsylvania
Laboratory Animals | Year: 2011

The refinement of surgical techniques represents a key opportunity to improve the welfare of laboratory rodents, while meeting legal and ethical obligations. Current methods used for monitoring intra-abdominal disease progression in rodents usually involve euthanasia at various time-points for end of study, one-time individual tissue collections. Most rodent organ tumour models are developed by the introduction of tumour cells via laparotomy or via ultrasound-guided indirect visualization. Ischaemic rodent models are often generated using laparotomies. This approach requires a high number of rodents, and in some instances introduces high degrees of morbidity and mortality, thereby increasing study variability and expense. Most importantly, most laparotomies do not promote the highest level of rodent welfare. Recent improvements in laparoscopic equipment and techniques have enabled the adaptation of laparoscopy for rodent procedures. Laparoscopy, which is considered the gold standard for many human abdominal procedures, allows for serial biopsy collections from the same animal, results in decreased pain and tissue trauma as well as quicker postsurgical recovery, and preserves immune function in comparison to the same procedures performed by laparotomy. Laparoscopy improves rodent welfare, decreases interanimal variability, thereby reducing the number of required animals, allows for the replacement of larger species, decreases expense and improves data yield. This review article compares rodent laparotomy and laparoscopic surgical methods, and describes the utilization of laparoscopy for the development of cancer models and assessment of disease progression to improve data collection and animal welfare. In addition, currently available rodent laparoscopic equipment and instrumentation are presented. Source

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