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The Vivarium of the Universidad de Oviedo e Instituciones Sanitarias Concertadas (Spanish Ministerial Order of 28 February 1990, B.O.E., 9 March 1990) is a scientific research support facility providing controlled animals that are housed in stable environmental conditions. It is registered with the Consejería de Medio Rural y Pesca del Principado de Asturias (Asturian Department of Rural Affairs and Fisheries) under number 33443591, as a centre for the breeding and use of research animals, in compliance with Spanish Royal Decree 53/2013.

In 2011, a Preclinical Imaging Laboratory was incorporated into the Vivarium, enabling functional and anatomical imaging techniques to be used in experimental research on organs, tissue (in vitro) and small animals (in vivo).

  • To facilitate all activities involving the use of research animals
  • To promote the proper use, care and wellbeing of research animals, as well as teaching and other scientific activities
  • To supply animals that have been bred in the centre or, where appropriate, obtained from authorised suppliers
  • To meet the general and specific requirements, in terms of space, conditions and resources , of research projects involving animals
  • To ensure that animals receive the necessary care before and during their use in experiments
  • To ensure compliance with the internal regulations, as a requirement for accessing the facilities and using the animals (project funding; compliance with research and teaching protocols, and evaluation by the centre’s Research Animals Ethics Committee)

Vivarium and Preclinical Imaging Unit

(Unidad de Bioterio e Imagen Preclínica)
Campus de El Cristo. Universidad de Oviedo.

C/ Catedrático José Serrano, s/n.

33006 Oviedo – Asturias, Spain.



Normal opening hours: 8am – 5pm

Summer opening hours (August): 8am – 3pm


Preclinical Imaging

Opening hours: 8am – 3pm


Name Position Contact Details
Teresa Sánchez Álvarez Director animalario@uniovi.es
Agustín Brea Pastor Veterinarian breaagustin@uniovi.es
Cristina López García Technician lopezcristina@uniovi.es
Maite Pérez Mendía Technician perezmaite@uniovi.es
Laura Fernández Iglesias Technician fernandezilaura@uniovi.es
Jennifer Jiménez Vázquez Technician jimenezjennifer@uniovi.es
Eva Pascual de la Calle Technician pascualeva@uniovi.es
Vanessa Loredo López Technician loredovanessa@uniovi.es

The Vivarium houses certified facilities that provide optimal conditions for breeding, caring for and quarantining various kinds of research animals, as well as research facilities: housing for animals being used in experiments for variable periods of time, surgeons, and laboratories for handling and taking samples.

Since 2011, a preclinical imaging laboratory has been incorporated into the Vivarium. The laboratory is fitted out with modern equipment – for PET/CT and micro CT, MRI on small animals and SPECT scanning – enabling functional and anatomical imaging techniques to be used in experimental research on organs and tissue (ex vivo ) and small animals (in vivo).

Ground floor

Houses an area for experimental surgery on medium-sized animals.

  • With an experimental operating theatre containing three anaesthesia stations with gas, anaesthesia monitoring equipment, automatic respirators, electric scalpels, surgical aspirators, etc.
  • Pre-operative room
  • Post-operative room
  • Rabbit housing room
  • Service area with a wash room: equipped with a cage wash, bottle wash, SAS, steam autoclave and storage facilities
  • Barrier zone for rodents in SPF conditions
  • Room for immunosuppressed animals, housed in ventilated cages and handled in laminar flow hoods

First floor

  • 9 standard animal housing rooms for use during the experimentation phase
  • 3 rodent handling laboratories
  • 1 quarantine room
  • 1 BSL-2 safety area for rodents

All units take special care about:

  • The health of the animals, following the FELASA (Federation for European Laboratory Animal Science Associations) recommendations
  • Providing care that ensures animals’ wellbeing, particularly regarding:
    • Cage size / occupation density
    • Bedding for the animals in their cages
    • Food and water
    • Ambient temperature
    • Ventilation
    • Relative humidity
    • Light cycles
    • Animal behaviour

Preclinical Imaging Laboratory

  • PET/CT

This is a study that combines computed tomography (CT) with positron emission tomography (PET) in one image.

PET is a non-invasive technique that measures the body’s metabolic activity. It detects and analyses the 3D distribution inside the body of an ultrashort-half-life radiopharmaceutical administered by intravenous injection.

Computed tomography (CT) is a medical procedure that scans t he body with x-rays to generate images on the three anatomical planes (axial, sagittal and coronal). A computer combines these images together to create a three-dimensional image of the scanned object.

This technology enables 3D, real-time visualisation of disease progression, such as tumour formation or the development and progression of cardiac and respiratory diseases. The effect of experimental treatments may also be monitored and visualised.

  • MRI

In Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), an animal is placed inside a magnetic field and radio waves are applied to it, enabling a digitally-codified and processed signal to be obtained for each part of its tissues.

It is suitable for studying any organ or tissue.

MRI is typically used to study the nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) and the locomotive system (muscles, tendons, joints). It is also very useful for diagnosing diseases in many other systems, such as the ear, eyes, skin and the reproductive, urinary, digestive and endocrine systems.

We use anaesthesia in this procedure, given that it requires the animals to be totally immobile.


In a micro-CT scan, X-rays are used to take images of a sample, enabling it to be reconstructed visually. Once software has been used to reconstruct the image, we are able to visualise the sample on different planes (axial, sagittal, corona l) or perform a range of analyses in two dimensions (to study the perimeter, shape, porosity, etc.) or in three dimensions (to calculate bone or trabecular bone density, thickness, separation, etc.).

It can create static and dynamic 3D models. This technology enables a large variety of samples to be analysed, provided that they are not larger than 5cm thick and 3cm in diameter.

Samples must be ex vivo and should preferably be cylindrical, so that the x-ray beam is able to pass equally through each part of the sample.

Micro-CT scanning enables comparative analyses to be performed.

To access the Vivarium, it is necessary to:

  • Have been awarded a funded research project or secured another source of funding.
  • Complete the experimental protocol for research and teaching activities, which must be evaluated by the Research Animals Ethics Committee prior to beginning the study.
  • Request the number of animals that you plan to use with sufficient notice, so as to ensure their availability, if the animals in question will be bred in the facility.
  • Complete the ‘handover of animals’ and ‘length of stay in the animal housing facility ’ forms, in compliance with the internal regulations on recording the entry and exit of animals.
  • When experimental surgery is performed on animals, a reservation must be made for the time and date when surgeons are needed.
  • Animals will only be handed over to people authorised by the principal investigator, as stated in the standard protocol designed by the members of the Research Animals Ethics Committee.

Reservations can be made for the following laboratories:

  • Rodents Laboratory 28: mice
  • Rodents Laboratory 29: rats
  • Rodents Laboratory 21 (without anaesthetic gases)

The opening hours are: Mondays to Fridays, 8am to 7:30pm; public holidays, 9am to 3pm.

Reservations may be made a maximum of 15 days in advance.

You may cancel your reservation up to 3pm on the day before its start date.


The laboratory booking system is for self-service use of the laboratories. If you need assistance or advice from the unit’s technical staff, we advise that you confirm their availability on the dates and times booked.

Go to the facility booking system (uniovi.es)

The Research Ethics Committee of the Universidad de Oviedo is a collegial, advisory body whose work is interdisciplinary. Its purpose is to review the ethical aspects of research projects and teaching activities that involve the use of animals, biological agents or genetically-modified organisms.

The Committee is an authorised body for the evaluation of projects that involve performing procedures on research animals, including teaching (Resolution of 8 October 2013 of the Consejería de Agroganadería y Recursos Autóctonos).

For projects involving research on humans and samples of human origin, please send an ethical review request to the Research Ethics Committee of Asturias.


SERVICE ISPA, HUCA and Universidad de Oviedo Other Public Bodies Standard Fee
Image analysis; report processing and production €18.00 / hour €30.00 / hour €45.00 / hour
Ethics committee: issuing project reports - €200.00 €200.00
Ethics committee: other reviews by the committee - €40.00 €40.00
Micro CT scan and reconstruction €12.00 / hour €24.00 / hour €36.00 / hour
CT scan €40.00 / hour €80.00 / hour €120.00 / hour
PET-CT scan (cost of the isotope not included) €40.00 / hour €80.00 / hour €120.00 / hour
Magnetic resonance imaging €40.00 / hour €80.00 / hour €120.00 / hour
Management of breeding colonies: lines of 10 to 30 pairs €15.00 per line, per week €30.00 per line, per week €30.00 per line, per week
Management of breeding colonies: lines of fewer than 10 pairs €10.00 per line, per week €20.00 per line, per week €20.00 per line, per week
Rabbit / guinea pig care €0.30 / day €0.70 / day €0.90 / day
Rat / hamster care €0.10 / day €0.20 / day €0.30 / day
Nude / SCID mouse care €0.30 / day €0.50 / day €0.90 / day
Mouse care €0.08 / day €0.15 / day €0.24 / day
Rat care €3.00 / month €6.00 / month €9.00 / month
Mouse care €2.40 / month €4.50 / month €7.20 / month
Wistar rat €2.60 / month

€4.00 / two months

€5.30 / three months

€5.30 / month

€7.90 / two months

€10.60 / three months

€7.80 / month

€12.00 / two months

€15.00 / three months

Wistar rat (newborn) €1.30 €2.60 €3.90
C5 BL/6 or C3H mouse (newborn ) €0.90 €1.80 €2.70
C5 BL/6 or C3H mouse (weaned) €1.50 €3.00 €4.50
CD1 mouse (newborn) €0.70 €1.30 €2.10
CD1 mouse (weaned) €1.30 €2.60 €3.90
Authorised transportation of animals between centres €23.00 €23.00 €23.00
Use of the operating theatre (including support from the technician) €20.50 / hour €35.50 / hour €50.00 / hour
Use of the operating theatre for medium-sized animals - - -
Use of the operating theatre (without the technician) €6.30 / hour €10.35 / hour €15.00 / hour
Use of the anaesthesia equipment €5.50 / hour €5.50 / hour €8.00 / hour
Use of the laboratory €1.00 / hour €1.50 / hour €1.50 / hour
Visit to the animal housing facility - €2.00 / person €2.00 / person