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ICB Research
ICB Research

The andrology lab produces quality products and tools necessary for the success of animal stud programs and research laboratories. Regular tasks in the andrology lab include quality control testing of semen extenders and processing semen from collection to final product. The research scientists also analyze sperm cells for motility and morphology characteristics in order to develop new reproductive management tools, products and services. Additional research projects are aimed at improving fertility and new approaches to semen extender development. The andrology laboratory uses state-of-the-art equipment, including the Spermvision CASA system offered through MOFAL GLOBAL and the Amnis ImageStream flow cytometer.

The Amnis ImageStream is one of the most advanced instruments used by the ICB. The Amnis is an imaging flow cytometer, meaning it combines the speed, sensitivity and phenotyping abilities of flow cytometry with the detailed imagery and functional insights of microscopes. This machine counts, sorts and identifies physical and chemical characteristics of cells or particles. Simultaneously, it acquires and saves an image of every cell or particle that flows through the machine. Having the physical and chemical characteristics of every cell, along with an image of the cell showing fluorescent signals, makes the data and analysis very robust. The Amnis is regularly used to evaluate the health of sperm cells for biological quality control testing, ongoing extender research and implications for improved fertility. This technology can also be used in studies on genetic improvement and preservation and other research at the cellular level. The Amnis is able to detect gram positive and gram negative bacteria load within a sample. This data can be used for future research in soil or milk bacteria, somatic cells or water samples.


In-vitro fertilization and cryopreservation trials help the Embryology Lab develop new biotechnologies in these fields of interest. These discoveries are aimed at improving the reliability and performance of current products and services and developing new technologies for commercial use. The ICB research scientists perform cell cultures, embryo aspiration and micromanipulation of gametes. These procedures are then used in porcine cloning, bovine in-vitro embryo production and embryo cryopreservation. Oocytes are obtained from outside commercial sources. Conserving and multiplying high value genetics using advanced reproductive technologies and producing gender selected embryos are additional capabilities within the Embryology lab.

Stem Cells

VitaeCell was established at the ICB to provide veterinarians with high quality, fully characterized and quantified stem cells. These stem cells are used for regenerative therapy in equine, canine and other companion animal species. The VitaeCell researchers have developed a consistent and bio-secure protocol to isolate, culture and amplify Mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue. Stem cells have the unique ability to differentiate into various cell types that make up cartilage, muscle, bone, tendons and other types of tissue. VitaeCell capitalizes on the regenerative characteristics of stem cells to repair inflamed and damaged tissue. Research scientists perform a detailed purification procedure from submitted adipose tissue samples and cryobank stem cells for future uses. Then they prepare the treatment doses of VitaeCell products after a thorough amplification and quality control process. The Amnis imaging flow cytometer is used to produce a certificate of analysis that guarantees the quality of VitaeCell stem cell products. Scientists in the VitaeCell lab also perform research to develop additional products and services to provide companion and performance animal industries with emerging technologies.


ICB research scientists involved with genetic advancement provide analytical expertise that helps develop CRI's products and programs. Research in the areas of genetics, genomics and statistics can be used to improve health, production and reproductive performance. Goals within the area of genetics include identification and creation of novel traits and markers associated with genomic selection. Research scientists analyze samples of blood, hair or semen, extract DNA, and then examine variations in the genetic code. The associations between these variations and the known genetics of progeny-tested sires make it possible to identify specific genes that impact genetic traits. Current genomic testing has revolutionized the selection of bulls for artificial insemination and has had significant impact in the breeding and merchandising of females. Future genomic technologies that are cost efficient will give producers the tools to improve efficiency, profitability and performance impacted by genetics.