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Reducing stress in mice in drug testing

Mouse fed with pipette

Scientists at EARA Member the University of Zurich, Switzerland, have developed a new method of giving drugs to mice for research studies, that greatly reduces animal stress.

While it is effective, the traditional drug delivery method in mice – an oral gavage which puts a metal tube into the mouth – can cause stress and tissue damage.

The new method trains mice to drink a solution of diluted condensed milk containing the required drug on a pipette, which they are happy to take voluntarily.

Called Micropipette-Guided Drug Administration (MDA), it provides a more humane and efficient alternative, improves animal welfare, and should therefore lead to better research results.

Urs Meyer, lead researcher at Zurich, said: “Our results clearly show that the animals in experiments using the MDA method are much more active and eager to explore, unlike stressed animals which withdraw and wait.”

MDA has already gained a positive reception in the research community and is expected to set a new standard in laboratory practices.


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