Biological Services


Biological Services

UCL Biological Services contributes to the advancement of biomedical research through the supply of high quality research animals and services, meeting the research needs of UCL's biomedical research community.

The welfare of our animals is the top priority for all our staff. Our Named Animal Care and Welfare Officers (NACWOs), working together with our Named Veterinary Surgeons (NVSs), strive to ensure that we operate to the highest standards of care and welfare.

Transverse section through mouse soleus muscle

Credit: Sleigh Laboratory, Department of Neuromuscular Diseases



A section 10 μm thick has been cut through the belly of a soleus muscle taken from the lower leg of a mouse, and stained using immunohistochemistry in order to identify certain features. Laminin (magenta) can be seen surrounding individual fibres of the muscle, marking what is known as the basement membrane, neurofilament (yellow) is found in nerves within the muscle, and DAPI (cyan) marks nuclei where the genetic material, DNA, is kept in all cells. At least two muscle spindles can be observed within the section. These are the circular structures, slightly larger than the individual muscle fibres found on the left of the section. Muscle spindles are proprioceptive structures that are important for sensing the state of muscle contraction and therefore relay internal information on the body’s position.


Rat in a nest

Animal Research at UCL

UCL is a world-leading medical research institution and animal research forms a relatively small but vital proportion of our work. We are committed to the highest standards of animal welfare and the use of animals in research is only permitted when other viable options are not available.

Holding Room

The 3Rs - Replacement, Reduction and Refinement

UCL is committed to the principles of the 3Rs - Replacement, Reduction and Refinement. These principles are pervasive throughout UCL's research involving the use of animals and we continually seek to find new ways to improve research methods.

Drone footage of Cruciform

BSU Futures Programme (Internal Only)

The Biological Services Unit (BSU) Futures Programme aims to markedly improve the way biomedical research is conducted at UCL – by virtue of modernisation, cost-efficiency and creation of synergies.


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