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Spring 2016


AAALAC to visit Ohio State

aaalac logoThe Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International is a nonprofit organization that promotes the humane care and use of research animals through a voluntary accreditation program. This accreditation program is important for two major reasons. First, institutions that are accredited by AAALAC are publicly known for their excellence in research and in their care of research animals. Second, many funding agencies now require that an institution be accredited by AAALAC. Thus, having accreditation helps secure grants from federal and private funding sources. Ohio State has been accredited by AAALAC since 1966.

The process for accreditation begins with the institution providing AAALAC with a written description of the animal care and use program. AAALAC then assigns a team to review the program description and visit the institution. During the visit, the AAALAC site visitors review documentation and visit all housing areas and use locations where animal work is performed, including laboratories. Once the visit has concluded, the site visitors prepare a report to share their key findings and recommendations with the Council on Accreditation. Following the visit, the Council meets to evaluate the program and make a final decision on accreditation.

To maintain accreditation, site visits are conducted every three years. Our next visit is rapidly approaching. As the Institutional Official (IO), the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Office of Responsible Research Practices (ORRP), Office of the Attending Veterinarian (OAV) and University Laboratory Animal Resources (ULAR) staff continue to prepare for the next AAALAC visit, here are a few tips to help you and your lab prepare as well (these can also be useful and applied to semiannual inspections);
  • Know the IACUC protocol: Are you able to access e-Protocol? Are you knowledgeable about the approved protocol activities? Are personnel performing activities listed on the approved protocol as study team members and are their training requirements up-to-date? If applicable, are study team members knowledgeable about standard operating procedures (SOPs) or animal hazard safety plan (AHSP) related to the IACUC protocol? It is important that all personnel working with animals are listed on the protocols under which they are performing work and that their training requirements are up-to-date. Also, key personnel should know how to access the approved protocol and be familiar with the protocol including the activities, early removal criteria and locations for animal housing and use.  
  • Record keeping: Do you have the appropriate records required by the IACUC? Are the surgical records for anesthesia, surgery and post-operative care, including analgesic administration, maintained? Is the documentation for validating effectiveness of manual sanitation and autoclave verification available (if applicable)? Maintaining accurate records of anesthesia, surgery and post-operative care, including analgesic administration, is important. Also, records for all equipment certifications, tests or maintenance, including biosafety cabinet certification, autoclave validation, eyewash function checks and anesthetic vaporizer calibration, are essential.
  • Lab safety procedures: Are you following all lab safety procedures? It is important for personnel to be aware of and follow laboratory safety procedures, such as those pertaining to secured gas cylinders, controlled substances, sharps containers, etc. Also, personnel should be knowledgeable about the requirements for personnel protection equipment (PPE). Remember that items transferred from their original container to a secondary container must be properly labeled, including the product name, final concentration, hazards associated with the product and date of expiration, or date made and diluent (if applicable).

New mouse caging system

It is exciting to announce that the new mouse caging system is here! During the past few months ULAR has been transitioning new cages and racks into the vivariums.

The following changes have been made because of the updated equipment:
  • Lixit (automatic water valve) is no longer attached to the caging, but is instead attached to the rack.
  • Lixit will need to be wiped with SporKlenz prior to placing/replacing cage in rack.
  • Charging stations will no longer be necessary.
  • Deprivation caps will no longer be used. Lixit removal should be requested from ULAR staff.
  • Water bottles will no longer be provided at room level. If needed, they can be requested in advance from ULAR staff.
  • HydroGel cups (rather than water bottles) can be used, if needed, for newly weaned cages.
Training on caging can be provided, on an as needed basis, by the ULAR training team. If interested, please email

IACUC focused training available for new personnel

Do you have a new lab manager or other personnel in your laboratory scheduled to start in the near future? Consider scheduling a personalized training session with a quality improvement specialist. The specialist can provide an overview of the Ohio State IACUC, help you find important information on the ORRP webpage, and help you navigate e-Protocol. In addition, onboard training can be tailored to fit your IACUC protocols. Contact Melinda Bruns or Justin Lahmers for more information.

Chemical hygiene plan review process update

In October, the IACUC voted to no longer include the chemical hygiene plan as part of the IACUC review process. Investigators are responsible for adding a standard operating procedure (SOP) to their chemical hygiene plan and for adding the chemical to their inventory when it is physically located in the lab. The IACUC review process will continue to include Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), animal hazard safety protocol (AHSP) and radiation reviews, when applicable.

Ensuring proper CO2 euthanasia of rodents

CO2 euthanasia of rodents must be consistent with the recommendations of the 2013 AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia, unless scientifically justified. Improper euthanasia of small laboratory rodents is considered noncompliant with Public Health Service (PHS) policy and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and is reportable to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).
The only IACUC approved source of CO2 gas is compressed gas in cylinders because gas inflow to the chamber can be precisely regulated. An optimal flow rate for CO2 euthanasia systems should displace 10% to 30% of the chamber or cage volume per minute. Prefilled chambers are unacceptable (see IACUC policy CO2 Euthanasia of Rodents Including Guinea Pigs).
Documentation that CO2 gas inflow to euthanasia chambers has been verified to displace 10% to 30% of the chamber or cage volume per minute should be kept in investigator laboratory spaces with these types of systems and should be available for the IACUC during semiannual facility inspections or other third party site visits, such as by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or AAALAC.
If you need assistance ensuring that the CO2 inflow to a euthanasia chamber has been verified to displace 10% to 30% of the chamber or cage volume per minute, contact Justin Lahmers, quality improvement specialist, Office of Responsible Research Practices.

e-Protocol form updates

e-Protocol LogoTwo changes have been made to the IACUC e-Protocol form. First, the instructions for the "Timeline" section have been revised to help prevent situations where information in the timeline does not match information in the "Protocol Activities" section. The instructions now state that the timeline is not meant to include a detailed description of the procedures. The description should solely be captured in the "Protocol Activities" section. The timeline should be an outline that shows the order, time frame and frequency that procedures are performed. Second, a text box has been added to the "Agent Administration" activity to allow investigators to provide more information on agents, when needed.

NIH simplifies Vertebrate Animals Section of grant application to reduce duplication

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that the requirements for the Vertebrate Animals Section (VAS) of grant applications, cooperative agreements and contract proposals have been changed. The VAS changes (NOT-OD-16-006) are designed to remove redundancy with IACUC review while meeting the requirements of the PHS Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Additional changes to the grant application guidance, forms and instructions are available at NOT-OD-16-004.

More information on completing the VAS, including a checklist, detailed instructions and links to worksheets, are available at the NIH Office for Laboratory Animal Welfare webpage Vertebrate Animals Section.

New study team lookup tool

A new tool is available for researchers to check that study team members have completed the requirements for human, animal and biosafety research. “Study Team Lookup” displays an individual’s training information, principal investigator (PI) eligibility status and currently approved studies. The tool also allows users to store team member profiles. Access it at or from the ORRP website, Buck-IRB and e-Protocol workspaces.


Policy updates

All of the policies developed by the Ohio State IACUC to assist investigators and staff with their research are available on the IACUC Policies webpage of the ORRP website. These policies and SOPs are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to meet regulatory requirements.
Revised – Food and Fluid Restriction: This policy was reformatted and a requirement was added for indicating the restriction at the cage level. It is important to note that when the restriction begins and ends must be communicated at the cage level.
Revised – Housing Requirements for Animals: This policy outlines the requirements for housing animals. The revision reflects the frequency that the IACUC will review the SOPs, standard management plans (SMPs) and emergency plans (at least once every three years).


Fall semiannual inspections

Fall semiannual inspectionsTeams of IACUC members inspected nearly 600 animal use and housing locations during the last semiannual inspections. The results from the inspections conducted from August 3rd to October 13th have been categorized and counted. Here are a few reminders about the most frequent findings identified:
  • Secondary containers for drugs or compounds must be labeled with the name of the compound, the final concentration, the diluent (if applicable) and the date of expiration. These requirements are outlined in the Use of Pharmaceutical and Non-Pharmaceutical Grade Compounds in Animals policy. 
  • Any temperature that is found outside of the Guide recommended range in a housing location must be reported and the corrective actions taken must be documented. The Reporting of Temperature Excursions in Animal Housing Locations policy explains each requirement. 
  • Autoclaved packages must be labeled with the date autoclaved and personnel initials on the outside of the package being autoclaved for survival surgery use. In addition, a chemical control indicator must be present on the outside and inside of packaged items being autoclaved. Requirements are described in the IACUC policy Autoclave Verification and Validation for Survival Surgical Equipment
  • Labs are reminded to check expiration dates for all medical supplies, therapeutic agents and diluents, including analgesics, sedatives, anesthetics or euthanasia solutions, before use. If medical materials are expired, ensure that the items are clearly labeled as expired and segregate them from non-expired materials, or appropriately discard them in accordance with all relevant institutional, local, state and federal requirements. Expired medical materials that are not for animal use should be labeled as “not for animal use” and stored in a separate location from materials used for animals. These requirements are described in the Expired Medical Materials policy. 
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of manual sanitation for primary enclosures is required on a semiannual basis and results must be maintained. Work surfaces and equipment that is solid, non-porous or non-permeable, should be sanitized using sporicidal disinfectants. Porous materials must be sealed or cleaned and replaced regularly.
The number of findings related to administrative items (i.e., animal protocols), husbandry and descriptions of activities such as survival surgery or euthanasia, have decreased. The IACUC thanks all members of the animal care and use program at Ohio State for making progress toward improvements in the program as reflected in the last semiannual inspections. Keep up the good work!

Finding veterinary/reviewer requests

Finding Veterinary Reviewer RequestsVeterinary and reviewer requests can sometimes be hidden in the e-Protocol form. If you cannot find the reviewer notes, check the upper left corner of the protocol form immediately under the e-Protocol logo. If the circle with the arrow is pointing to the right (as in the top image), the requests are hidden. Click on the circle, which will change the arrow so that it is pointing down (as in the bottom image to the right). The reviewer notes and requests will become visible.


Adding transgenic or knockout strains

To reduce the chance of delay in receiving IACUC approval, it is recommended that you submit an amendment or protocol to the IBC to cover all transgenic (including knockout) strains. Your IBC protocol should reflect all strains (including purchased, obtained, bred, created) mentioned in your IACUC protocol.

Notifying ULAR when using hazardous agents

Notify ULAR of Hazardous Agent UseIf your lab has been assigned an AHSP (animal hazard safety protocol), you are responsible for submitting a notification to ULAR at least three business days prior to agent administration. Click on the red link on the left side of the protocol’s workspace that says “Notify ULAR of Hazardous Agent Use.” Assigned AHSP’s have been laminated and sent to investigators through campus mail. They can also be found under the “Attachments” tab in e-Protocol as a “Supporting Document.” ULAR requires that all rodent cages that are administered hazardous agents be marked at the cage level with the agent name, duration and contact information. Please be sure to contact ULAR’s hazardous agent liaison, Charlie Martin, with any questions.


Angela Phillips, ULAR 

Angela Phillips works in ULAR as a protocol consultant. Angela has worked for the university since 1990. In her current position, she performs a wide variety of valuable services, such as providing consultation to PIs and their study teams related to all aspects of IACUC protocol preparation and management, and performing pre-veterinary consultation and review of IACUC protocols. She also provides e-IACUC system training and assistance with navigation of the protocol form and e-Protocol system (as well as providing access information to the various research-related services available at Ohio State). Prior to joining ULAR and the Office of the Attending Veterinarian, Angela served as a research assistant in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. She also served in a variety of roles in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, including research associate, laboratory manager and corporate liaison for preclinical training and research. Angela’s other professional experiences include working at Cryan Veterinary Hospital, MedVet, and Ethicon Endo Surgery Institute. She holds a degree in veterinary technology from Columbus State Community College. Her other credentials include RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician), LAT (Laboratory Animal Technician), and CPIA (Certified Professional IACUC Administrator). Angela is also a member of AALAS and PRIM&R.
  • AAALAC to visit Ohio State
  • New mouse caging system
  • IACUC focused training available for new personnel
  • Chemical Hygiene Plan review process update
  • Ensuring proper CO2 euthanasia of rodents
  • e-Protocol form updates
  • NIH simplifies vertebrate animal section of grant application to reduce duplication
  • New study team lookup tool
  • Policy updates
  • Reminders
  • e-Protocol tips
  • Staff profile
Meeting planner

Upcoming IACUC meeting dates

February 19, 2016
March 18, 2016
April 15, 2016
May 20, 2016

Meetings begin at 12:30 p.m.

Additional information about submission deadlines can be found on the IACUC meetings webpage.

ULAR training sessions

Facility Introduction and Mouse Overview
February 11 (10 a.m.)
February 23 (1 p.m.)

March 10 (10 a.m.)
March 22 (1 p.m.)

April 14 (10 a.m.)
April 26 (1 p.m.)

May 12 (10 a.m.)

May 24 (1 p.m.)
Rodent Survival Surgery
February 16 (10 a.m.)
March 15 (10 a.m.)
April 19 (10 a.m.)
May 17 (10 a.m.)

ULAR training sessions are limited to 15 registrants.
To register: Call 292-5094, email ulartraining or visit the research calendar.
Individual sessions may be arranged for protocol-specific techniques by completing the Training Request Form on the ULAR training webpage and emailing it to the ULAR training coordinator at

Office of
Research Units

© 2015 The Ohio State University – Office of Research
Office of Responsible Research Practices – Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
Research Administration Building, 1960 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: 614-688-8457 | Fax: 614-688-0366 | Email the IACUC

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