About us

The Experimental Surgery Facility (ESF) is dedicated to enable researchers to perform short and long-terms experimental trials, in which general anaesthesia and analgesia are required. Our expertise covers a large number of species among which pigs, goats, sheep, calves, rabbits and rats are the most represented.  Our specific research interest is in the area of perioperative animal analgesia. We believe that the improvement of animal well-being is an ethic must towards the animals in research and can improve sensibly the value of scientific readouts.

The facility consists of two well-equipped operating theatres, two preparation rooms, two rooms dedicated to recovery from general anaesthesia and several ancillary rooms, including pharmacy and storage room, a laboratory and sterilization room, a meeting room and two dressing rooms.

The ESF is a facility belonging to the DBMR (Department of biomedical research). Our team aims at high quality standard of work in the respect of the animal welfare and the 3Rs.  

The facility is led by a European veterinary specialist in anaesthesia and analgesia supported by two veterinary technicians and a nurse with diploma in intensive care. We offer the researchers our competences and our practical availability both at the planning and at the operative stage of the experiments, including the organization of transport and the peri-operative care of the animals. Along with clinical monitoring, in the ESF there are several possibilities for instrumental monitoring of the animals. Multiparametric intraoperative monitoring systems are routinely used and determination of basic hematology, blood gases, electrolytes, lactate, glucose and haemoglobin can be carried out. In cooperation with the Clinical Laboratory of the Vetsuisse (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine), we could offer our customers a wide range of analyses, according to their interests.

Monitoring of specific parameters and functions (for example, regional blood flows or pressures) can be also granted. For detailed information regarding the possibilities and the costs of specific monitoring, you can contact kay.nettelbeck@dbmr.unibe.ch. For information regarding surgical possibilities, devices and instruments, you can contact kay.nettelbeck@dbmr.unibe.ch.

At the present, ESF could provide perioperative care of the animals up to 24 hours; however, our team will help the researchers to accommodate the animals appropriately, when required after discharge of the animals.  Experiments requiring intensive veterinary follow-up are possible, yet must be discussed and agreed with daniela.casoni@dbmr.unibe.ch.

We are happy to work with you there!