Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #171819


item Golde, William
item Rodriguez, Luis

Submitted to: Lab Animal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/12/2005
Publication Date: 10/1/2005
Citation: Golde, W.T., Gollobin, P., Rodriguez, L.L. 2005. A Lancet Designed for the Simple and Humane Cheek Pouch Bleeding of Mice. Lab Animal. Vol. 34:9, P. 39-43.

Interpretive Summary: Use of laboratory mice is a significant part of biomedical research. The mouse model for many diseases is entrenched in the development of pharmaceuticals, biologicals and devices for human use. Animal research has become more carefully regulated over the past several decades to insure that animal care and use in the research setting is as humane as possible. Researchers in all aspects of biology and medicine are governed by institutional animal care and use committees (IACUC) that insure the most humane use of these animals as possible. One very important aspect of rodent models in research is the acquisition of samples for testing, in most cases, blood. Because of the small size of the animals, drawing blood samples is a challenge to the investigator. A number of methods are employed that pass the review of IACUC, but none are particularly humane or simple, especially retro-orbital bleeding and cardiac puncture. We have developed a new animal bleeding lancet modeled on blood lancets designed for human use. Using the cheek pouch bleeding method, we now describe a simple, inexpensive, effective and very humane method of obtaining blood samples from mice.

Technical Abstract: The mouse lancet is designed to allow the majority of investigators to use this more humane and easy bleeding method for mice. Unlike a lancet used for human patients, there is no spring trigger for the lancet blade. Instead, the blade is fixed at a depth of 5.0 mm from the handle and comes with a sterile safety cap. The invesitgator removes the cap when they are ready to bleed the animal. The wide phalange of the handle and stationary blade allows the investigator to punch a small hole in a particular place in the cheek pouch of the animal. Because the blade size controls the depth of the cut, it is always of the appropriate depth to induce 4 to 10 drops of blood before the clotting process arrests the bleeding. This is very similar to a thumb stick on a human patient that yields a few drops of blood.