Nonsurgical embryo transfer device compared with surgery for embryo transfer in mice

Kendra H. Steele, James M. Hester, Barbara J. Stone, Kimberly M. Carrico, Brett T. Spear, Angelika Fath-Goodin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The use of a murine nonsurgical embryo transfer (NSET) device had been described previously for the transfer of blastocysts, morulae, DNA-microinjected embryos, and embryonic stem cell-containing embryos to create genetically modified mice. However, physiologic effects of the NSET device and traditional surgical methods had not been compared directly. Here we used electrocardiography and fecal corticosterone levels to monitor pseudopregnant mice that underwent anesthesia only, the NSET procedure with or without anesthesia, or surgery. These procedures were performed without the use of actual embryos, to focus on effects of the procedures themselves rather than on any physiologic effects due to the deposition of embryos. As compared with surgery and anesthesia, the NSET procedure was associated with less fluctuation in cardiac rhythm and lower levels of the stress biomarker fecal corticosterone. These results indicate that use of the NSET device avoids these physiological perturbations as well as other disadvantages of surgery (for example, postoperative pain and need for postoperative analgesia) and therefore provides a valuable refinement of existing mouse embryo transfer procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Days post coitum
  • Dpc
  • NSET
  • Nonsurgical embryo transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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