In-Vivo Animal Core

Researchers load digital slides into scanner in In-Vivo Animal Core facilityUsing University resources and accomplished Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) professionals specializing in diverse fields, the In-Vivo Animal Core (IVAC) optimizes the design, execution, interpretation, and reporting of in-vivo studies to guide projects through early translational milestones.

As the only core on campus dedicated exclusively to the research histology of animal models, IVAC Pathology offers unique access to interpretive services from board-certified veterinary pathologists right here at the University of Michigan.

Comprised of professionals with extensive pre-clinical experience in both academia and industry, IVAC's veterinary pathologists provide an unparalleled review of translational research through comparative pathology to U-M researchers and beyond.

Services that can be utilized individually or combined as a full service based on the needs of the project include:

Users must have an approved animal use protocol from the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) prior to utilizing IVAC services and facilities.

  • Project Consultation: Clinical veterinarians and vet pathologists are available for pre-clinical study design consultation in rodents and non-rodents. Consultation on animal model selection is also available.
  • Study Implementation: IVAC faculty and personnel have experience running pre-clinical studies ranging from discovery and early-stage efficacy to single or repeat-dose toxicity studies.
  • Technical Services: IVAC technical services can perform in-life work ranging from animal identification/tagging, dosing, blood collection, body weights, in-life observations, and necropsy.
  • Animal Diagnostic Lab (Clinical Chemistries, Hematology) Testing: Animal blood, serum, or urine samples may be submitted for assessment of routine hematology and clinical chemistry parameters.
  • Necropsy Service: IVAC necropsy technicians are available to perform necropsy and tissue collection in either IVAC or PI laboratories. Technicians can also train laboratory staff in these procedures.
  • Histology & Immunohistochemistry: Histology preparation, routine and special histo staining, and immunohistochemistry services are available. After antibody titration, immunohistochemistry is run using an automated system (Biocare Intellipath) that enables increased throughput and reproducibility.
  • Digital Slide Scanning: Histology slides may be digitized using a high-throughput digital slide scanner (Leica Aperio® AT2). Digitized slides are viewable from any PC using freely available software (Leica Aperio) that enables slide sharing and quantitative morphometric analysis and slide images at any magnification up to 40x. 
  • Pathology Evaluation/Reporting: Board-certified veterinary pathologists are available for pathology evaluation and reporting. Veterinary pathology faculty have extensive pre-clinical experience, including the analysis of genetically engineered mouse models, xenografts, infectious disease models, and safety studies in an industry setting.

microscopic images from IVAC pathologyWhether dealing with experimentally induced conditions or spontaneously occurring diseases, IVAC offers a wide-array of expertise in laboratory animal pathology, pathology preparations, and services.

Diagnostic laboratory service offerings:

  • Hematology
  • Blood smears and cell counting
  • Urinalysis
  • Parasitology
  • Serum Chemistries
  • Verifying biological indicators (verifying sterility)
  • Microbiology

Necropsy laboratory service offerings:

  • Rodent and large animal necropsy
  • Freezing tissue(s) in sucrose/OCT
  • Bone decalcification
  • Trimming and cassetting

Histology laboratory service offerings:

  • Paraffin processing and embedding
  • Frozen and paraffin sectioning
  • Hematoxylin and eosin staining
  • Specialized histochemical stains
  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
  • Immunofluorescence (IF)
  • Developmental and non-routine histology

Pathology evaluation:

  • Pathology interpretation available from board-certified veterinary pathologists
  • Extensive and varied experience in interpretation of basic science, discovery, efficacy, and toxicity studies
  • Pathology deliverables include written narrative reports, tabular slide scoring, and publication-quality images (upon request)
  • Consultation regarding pathology endpoints and letters of support for grant applications are available

The IVAC Technical Services Team is your lab for hire! Their experienced technicians can perform the individual services listed below or your entire study, including animal randomization, drug preparation, all dosing and blood collection, and all clinical observations with data compiled in a notebook in a study performed in the spirit of GLP. Technical Services may also be requested for long-term and repeat studies in your lab.

Contact or call (734) 647-0731 to inquire on special procedures.

Technical Services can also minimize the need to hire additional staff for your studies. For in-life services, Technical Services personnel should be added to your IACUC protocol. Services require advance notice (two weeks is preferred) and are re-charged based on labor time. For additional details, please see IVAC Rates.

Service offerings include, but are not limited to, the following:

Rodent blood collection:

  • Submandibular (facial), sublingual
  • Saphenous
  • Tail Vein
  • Retro-orbital
  • Also, blood collection for non-rodent species

Animal ID & genotyping assistance:

  • Mouse tattooing
  • Rodent ear tagging
  • Rodent tail biopsies

Terminal procedure support:

  • Euthanasia
  • Microbial sampling
  • Organ weights and harvesting
  • Terminal blood collections, including cardiac puncture

Substance administration:

  • Oral gavage
  • Intra-peritoneal injections
  • Subcutaneous injections and intramuscular injections
  • Intravenous tail vein injections

Diet administration:

  • Special supplements
  • Special diet administration and monitoring
  • Fecal collection for diet studies

Tumor monitoring:

  • Tumor monitoring according to approved protocol and tumor monitoring guidelines
  • Measuring and recording data as specified by the investigator
  • Digital slide capture and analysis using Aperio AT2 ® scanner
  • Images viewable by freely available software (Leica Aperio)
  • Images for publication available at any magnification up to the scanned magnification
  • Quantitative morphometry for histology or immunohistochemistry parameters using specialized commercial software (Leica Aperio Brightfield Analysis Toolbox ®) is available in consultation with the IVAC veterinary pathologist team

Information on rates for IVAC Aperio ® Digital Slide Scanning can be found under Rates.

IVAC Laboratory Services are offered Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Advance notice is requested for hematology, chemistry, or necropsy services.

IVAC Technical Services are scheduled 365 days a year, 7 days a week. Please note that Technical Services require advance notice (two weeks is preferred).

The facilities are operated on a fee-for-service basis. Users are charged based on the amount of time technicians spend performing the services. Fees for a variety of laboratory tests processed through IVAC are available on the Animal Diagnostic Laboratory Testing page.

IVAC Hourly Labor Rates

IVAC Animal Diagnostic Laboratory (ADL)
Technician Rate/Hour
$  36.89 07/01/2015
IVAC ADL Technician Labor Rate/Hour Overtime $  55.34 07/01/2015
IVAC Histology Technician Labor Rate/Hour $  30.26 11/01/2015
IVAC Histology Technician Labor Rate/Hour Overtime $  45.39 11/01/2015
IVAC Necropsy Technician Labor Rate/Hour $  35.95 08/01/2015
IVAC Necropsy Technician Labor Rate/Hour Overtime $  53.93 08/01/2015
IVAC Pathologist Hourly Slide Interpretation $  129.69 02/02/2015
IVAC Pathologist Per Slide Interpretation $  12.97 02/02/2015
IVAC Technical Services Technician Labor Rate/Hour $  66.64 01/01/2015
IVAC Technical Services Technician Labor Rate/ Overtime $  99.97 01/01/2015

IVAC Aperio ® Digital Slide Scanning Rates

20X scan, automated, each $  15.00 07/01/2015
20X scan, automated, batch of 20 - 50, each $  13.50 07/01/2015
20X scan, automated, batch of 50+ slides, each $  12.00 07/01/2015
20X scan, manual, each $  25.00 07/01/2015
40X scan, automated, each $  17.50 07/01/2015
40X scan, automated, batch of 20 -50, each $  17.00 07/01/2015
40X scan, automated, batch of 50+ slides, each $  15.50 07/01/2015
40X scan, manual, each $  27.50 07/01/2015

IVAC Histology Rates

Histology - General Services

Paraffin Process & Embed $  2.58 11/01/2015
Paraffin Unstained Slide $  3.36 11/01/2015
Paraffin H & E Stain (prev. prep slide) $  2.50 11/01/2015
Paraffin H & E Slide (slide prep and stain) $  4.98 11/01/2015
Frozen unstained slides $  6.00 11/01/2015
Frozen, cut H & E slide $  7.00 11/01/2015

Histology - IHC Antibody & Stain, A - Z

Tier 1 (aSMA, CD4, GFAP, Neurofilament) $  20.00 11/01/2015
Tier 2 (Amylase, CD3, F4/8D, Insulin, K167, VWF) $  22.00 11/01/2015
Tier 3 (Caspase-3, GFP, Glucagon, MMP8, AE1/AE3) $  24.00 11/01/2015
Tier 4 (ALDH1, CD8, Lyve-1) $  26.00 11/01/2015
Tier 5 (CD31, ER, PR, HER2) $  28.00 11/01/2015

Histology - IHC Negative Controls

Mouse Tissue $  23.00 11/01/2015
Rat Tissue $  24.00 11/01/2015
Other Tissue $  25.00 11/01/2015

Histology - IHC Stains (PI provides primary)

Mouse Tissue $  23.00 11/01/2015
Rat Tissue $  24.00 11/01/2015
Other Tissue $  25.00 11/01/2015

Histology - Special Stains

Category A Special Stain
(Masson Trichrome, McManus PAS, Toluidine Blue)
$  9.93 11/01/2015
Category B Special Stain
(Prussian Blue, Picrosirius Red, Van Gieson Collagen)
$  11.79 11/01/2015
Category C Special Stain
(Gram, Luxol Fast Blue, Warthin Starry, Other Special Stains)
$  15.54 11/01/2015

IVAC Necropsy

Fixed Mouse $  50.00 08/01/2015
Small - standard $  48.00 08/01/2015
Medium - standard $  95.00 08/01/2015
Large - standard $  204.81 08/01/2015
NHP - standard $  325.00 08/01/2015
Decalcification $  8.00 08/01/2015
Paraffin Trim & Cassette $  7.50 08/01/2015

* Rates subject to change.


Email or call (734) 647-0731 for additional information, or to set up an appointment to consult with IVAC on your next research project.