Course Identification

Microsurgery for studying physiology and cancer in mice

Lecturers and Teaching Assistants

Dr. Gil Hecht
צורי Tsoory, Shelly Zinamon, Yuri Kuznetsov

Course Schedule and Location

First Semester
15/12/2019- 19/12/2019 , 0900-1400, Dan Michael laboratory in Feinberg,

Field of Study, Course Type and Credit Points

Life Sciences: Laboratory; Elective; Regular; 0.50 points
Life Sciences (Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Track): Lecture; Elective; Regular; 0.50 points
Life Sciences (Computational and Systems Biology Track): Lecture; Elective; Regular; 0.50 points


It is possible to ask and learn special not listed procedures. In such case, please contact Gil Hecht at least two months in advance:


Permit to work with laboratory animals is mandatory 



Language of Instruction


Registration by


Attendance and participation


Grade Type

Pass / Fail

Grade Breakdown (in %)


Evaluation Type


Scheduled date 1


Estimated Weekly Independent Workload (in hours)



This practical laboratory course will help build a strong foundation of knowledge and skills in basic and advanced rodent surgical procedures. This course is intended for students in the fields of cancer biology, immunology, metabolism, and neurobiology (to name just a few) to optimize their surgical-dependent procedures and tailor them to their research goals. Although some of the procedures will be taught upon student demand, other procedures may include specific organ excision procedures leading to perturbations in physiology, various types of injections including injection of cancer cells into relevant organs of interest, and more.

Considering both the surgery itself and the peri-operative care of animals will result in an increase in animal survival and the quality of data obtained from the surgical model.

Some of the most important aspects of successful operative guidelines that ensure a successful experimental outcome will be taught and practiced. These include principles of surgical asepsis, preparation of the operative site, wounds and basic principles of wound management  and bleeding control, principles of anesthesia and analgesia under experimental constraints, and model-specific topographic anatomy (just to name a few).



Practical Aspects


Hands-on training based on the attendees’ needs and tips and tricks for techniques of interest


Basic non-surgical procedures:

  • Intubation
  • Suturing
  • Gavage
  • iv injection
  • Blood collection


Optional surgical procedures:

  • Transplantation under the kidney capsule
  • Thymectomy
  • Splenectomy
  • Renalectomy
  • castration
  • Catheterization
  • Hind limb ischemia model
  • Orthotopic transplantation models: pancreas, mammary fat pad, and prostate
  • Intracranial injection, Head-post implantation
  • Cerebral stroke
  • Other




Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students should be able to:

Correctly perform the chosen procedures including pre- and post-operative care of the animals.

Reading List

Pritchett-Corning, K. R., Mulder, G. B., Luo, Y., White, W. J. Principles of Rodent Surgery for the New Surgeon. J. Vis. Exp. (47), e2586, doi:10.3791/2586 (2011).

Das, S., MacDonald, K., Chang, H. Y., Mitzner, W. A Simple Method of Mouse Lung Intubation. J. Vis. Exp. (73), e50318, doi:10.3791/50318 (2013).

Chieh-Shou Su, Hui-Chin Lai, Tsun-Jui Liu Efficacious and safe orotracheal intubation for laboratory mice using slim torqueable guidewire-based technique: comparisons between a modified and a conventional method. BMC Anesthesiology 2016