Gnotobiotic Core

Germ-free mouse and isolator services



The UCD AMC gnotobiotic core provides investigators germ free (axenic/sterile) and gnotobiotic (flora-defined) mice. Our core facility includes 4 large and 8 small soft-sided vinyl isolators and our new Tecniplast iso-positive ventilated rack. Routine quality control testing is tperformed o confirm germ free status of our mice and isolators. 

Since establishing the facility in 2015, we have worked with over 15 investigators across the UCD-AMC campus. As we continue to grow, we welcome inquiries​ ​from the UCD-AMC campus, the CU system, and external academic and non-academic groups.



  • We breed and maintain germ free mice in flexible film (softwall) isolator bubbles 
  • We maintain our experimental mice on our Tecniplast iso-positive rack and caging system, which is designed for gnotobiotic and germ free animals
  • These cages provide HEPA filters at cage level and are airtight with positive pressure for ideal bioexclusion which allows us to have multiple studies on the same rack 

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We are a full service facility with dedicated research staff who perform colony maintenance, husbandry, quality assurance, experimental manipulations, and specimen collections. Our staff coordinate with individual investigators prior to each experiment to review experimental plans and provide detailed procedure reports. A cost quote for each experiment can be provided upon request. Our current fiscal year 2023 prices are listed here.

  • Available strains: C57BL/6, Swiss Webster. If you are interested in a germ free strain available elsewhere, we can have shipped into our facility.
  • Technical services: Oral gavage, injections, blood collection, fecal sample collection, mouse weight, plus more
  • Experimental set-up: Preparation of sterile water formulations (e.g. DSS), diet, gavage innocula, etc.
  • Isolator set-up: Most experiments can be performed on our Tecniplast rack. We have maintained study mice germ free in this housing system for up to 3 months. However, we do have vinyl isolators that can be dedicated for an investigator if needed.
  • Re-derivation:  Strains and transgenic mice can be re-derived into germ free isolators by caesarean section and cross fostering.



Kristi Kuhn, MD, PhD​
Gnotobiotic Core Director

Dr. Kuhn is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology whose research interests are centered upon the interaction of the microbiome with mucosal immunity in the development of rheumatologic disease. She established the UCD-AMC Gnotobiotic Core Facility in 2015 with generous support from the School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, and the Department of Immunology. Dr. Kuhn oversees the daily functions of the facility and is available to other investigators for guidance on experimental design, execution, and data interpretation.


LevensCassandra Levens
Gnotobiotic Core Technician

Cassandra Levens has worked in the research community for six years. She started with Office of Laboratory Animal Research in 2011. She started as an animal care technician. In 2014 she joined the Breeding Core. She learned a vast amount of breeding knowledge and has used the knowledge to help the Gnotobiotic core grow. Cassandra joined the Gnotobiotic core in November of 2017. She provides animal colony maintenance, helps in experimental manipulations, and contacts researchers to start new projects.


Click here​ for a list of publications using our facility.

If you have used our facility for your publication or grant award, please let us know​ !​

Rheumatology (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes

1775 North Aurora Court


Aurora, CO 80045


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