Structure and Activities

SEFALer Activities operative from CIBERER: Phase II

Phase II Activities:

  1. Characterisation of animal models of human rare diseases. 
    • Secondary functional phenotyping in the following contexts: 
      • Platforms for phenotyping transgenic mice.
      • Pharmacology and toxicology.
      • Degeneration and regeneration studies.
      • Ageing studies.
      • Characterisation of experimental models forming part of behavioural, surgical studies, etc. Phenotypic selection of reproducers for stabling.
    • Morphological phenotyping.
  2. CIBERER database: models available, genic expression and phenotype.
  3. Technical-scientific advice.
  4. Training.

Groups involved

Service for Non-Invasive Neurofunctional Assessment (ENNI) of the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas “Alberto Sols”, specialising in phenotyping the hearing function.  CIBERER Unit U761 directed by Dr Isabel Varela Nieto.

In association with the Hospital Universitario Facultad de Veterinaria-UCM specialising  in somatosensory and motor phenotyping, and with the Servicio de Alergia del Hospital Gregorio Marañón specialising in phenotyping the respiratory function.

Department of Pathological Anatomy, Molecular Pathology, Hospital Universitario de Canarias. CIBERER Unit U740 directed by Dr Eduardo Salido, specialising in phenotyping the kidney function.

Laboratory for Neurobehavioural Analysis of Genetically Modified Murine Models Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona. Specialised in neurobehavioural phenotyping (concentrating on motor, cognitive and emotional phenotyping). Unidad CIBERER U716 directed by Dr Cristina Fillat.

The SEFALer F3 unit provides a catalogue of behavioural tests including over 125 different tests for evaluating such aspects as learning and memory, depression, anxiety, substance addiction, sensory processing disorders, motor deficits, social interactions, etc. It also provides three specific products:

Phenotech: Phenotyping murine disease models 
Preclinic:Studies of the effectiveness of treatment - indication 
Pretarget: detection of new indications, potential neurological effects or toxicity of pharmacological agents.

Platelet Receptor Group of the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del CSIC, specialising in haematological and coagulation system phenotyping. CIBERER Unit 7344, directed by Dr Consuelo Conzález Manchón.

SEFALer Unit F4 has the following equipment: anaesthesia equipment with isofluorane, haemocytometer, coagulometer, aggregometer, Transonic module for recording the blood flow, Fluxion BioFlux system for adhesion assays with flow control. The phenotyping tests that can be performed include:

  1. Haemogram: haematocrit, haemoglobin, red blood cell count, white cell count with subtypes, platelet control and average volume.
  2. Complete blood smear and Giemsa stain.
  3. Haemorrhage time.
  4. Coagulation tests: PT (prothrombin time), aPTT (partial thromboplastin time), fibrinogen, amongst others.
  5. Platelet aggregation in response to physiological agonists: collagen, ADP, epinephrine.
  6. Adhesion tests for isolated platelets, in static or flow conditions.
  7. Plate activation tests and fixing of fibrinogen in response to agonists by flow cytometry.
  8. In vivo Thrombogenesis: consumption of platelets induced by injection of collagen/epinephrine in the jugular vein; occlusion time of the carotid artery induced by ferric chloride.

Neurometabolic disease laboratory of the Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge (IDIBELL). CIBERER Unit 759, directed by Dr Aurora Pujol.

Animal Models by genetic manipulation of the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB). CIBERER unit 756, directed by Dr Lluís Montoliu.

Spanish node of the European project EMMA/Infrafrontier ( at the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), directed by Dr Lluís Montoliu (coordinator of CIBERER unit U756), specialising in cryopreservation, archiving, revitalisation and distribution of mutant/transgenic/genetically modified mice.

SEFALer unit F6 has all the equipment and protocols required for cryopreservation, archiving, revitalisation and distribution of lines of mice of interest in biomedicine, in particular the ones that are being generated and phenotyped through IKMC and IMPC international consortiums  ( This unit includes the service for cryopreservation of embryos and mouse sperm of the INNOTEK platform (UAM+CSIC) (

The following are some of the protocols that can be performed at SEFALer unit F6:

  1. Cryopreservation of mouse embryos of any stage
  2. Cryopreservation of mouse sperm
  3. In vitro fecundation
  4. Transfer of embryos to pseudo-pregnant females
  5. Genotyping
  6. Reception of frozen embryos from third parties
  7. Reception of frozen sperm from third parties
  8. Reception of mice for archiving
  9. Sending frozen embryos to third parties
  10. Sending frozen sperm to third parties
  11. Sending revitalised mice
  12. Keeping frozen embryos/sperm in liquid nitrogen tanks

Histology service located at the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), directed by Dr Lluís Montoliu CIBERER unit U756, specialising in preparing biological samples for microscopic observation, using paraffin, resin and frozen tissue inclusion methods.

Spanish node of the European EMMA/Infrafrontier project. SEFALer Unit F7 has the equipment and protocols required for processing samples for histological observation. Some of the protocols that can be performed are the following:

  • Preparing blocks of paraffin, frozen tissue and plastic (historesin)
  • Cutting blocks of paraffin, frozen tissue (cryostat) and plastic
  • Contrasting and assembling blocks of paraffin, frozen tissue and plastic
  • Stains: Haematoxylin-Eosin, Cristal Violet, Trichrome Mason, PAS, Van Gieson-Elastine
  • Other procedures and specific stains. The possibility of incorporating new stains in accordance with the demand and needs of the researchers-users of the service

Any of the stages or steps in the process of inclusion, cutting, assembling and/or staining a biological sample can be requested separately. The service does not carry out histopathological analysis of biological samples. This unit forms part of the INNOTEK (UAM+CSIC) platform.

The web page of the Histology Service of the CNB is completely bilingual and caters for processing requests over the web site.

How this is structured and possibilities for further collaboration

SEFALer units: The SEFALer platform is a pioneering network structure seeking to provide a comprehensive service in all phases of phenotyping animal models of rare diseases. It is structured through cooperation between services provided by CIBERER groups through different institutions. To enable the initial node, the CIBERER has signed an agreement with the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) to facilitate the integration of the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas “Alberto Sols” -- CIBERER Unit U761.

SEFALer is open to being joined by new groups from other public and private institutions which can offer their technology and experience in phenotyping laboratory animals. Each of these would constitute a unit inside the SEFALer, specialising in the characterisation of a specific area. How can one cooperate?

Each of these units will provide phenotyping, advisory services or both, in line with their possibilities and availability.

The organisation in SEFALer Units of the platform will be coordinated from the CIBERER office. The scientific and teaching work of the SEFALer serán gestionadas por un coordinador en contacto permanente y supervisadas por un Comité SEFALerUnits will be managed by a coordinator in permanent contact and supervised by a SEFALer.Committee made up of researcher members of the CIBERER. The administrative and logistics management for the platform to operate will be handled by the SEFALer coordinator

These new collaborators must either be CIBERER groups or private companies.

Groups involved