Archiving and Distribution

Do you have a mouse strain to donate? The MRC Harwell Archive will freeze your strain free of charge

The MRC Harwell Archive aims to promote a cooperative future in mouse genetics research through the archiving and distribution of mouse lines to safeguard germplasm collected from unique mouse strains and make it readily available to the scientific community.

If you would like to submit a mouse line for archiving, please complete the Resource Enquiry form. Alternatively, to request a mouse line for research, search the Archive.

Archive your mouse strains

Cryopreservation of either sperm or embryos not only protects your valuable mouse strains for future use but also enables you to reduce costs associated with on-going colony maintenance. The MRC Harwell Archive is able to offer a ‘free’ archiving service to all users providing the mouse strains are made available to the community, without restriction.

The MRC expects all award holders to deposit their mice in the archive. A two year grace period is available to depositors who wish to safeguard their mice but have yet to publish their data. During this period the mice will be archived free of charge but they will not be made available to the community.

The Sanger Sample Archive

The Mary Lyon Centre (MLC) at MRC Harwell has been chosen to house the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute’s Bio-Archive as part of the process that will lead to the closure of the Institute’s animal research facilities in September 2021. This extensive sample archive contains paraffin embedded tissues from the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) and Sanger’s own mouse lines as well as plasma samples from some of the lines. The MLC has extensive experience curating archived collections as it holds and distributes samples from several other mouse and primate tissue archives. This wealth of biological material allows the scientific community to access existing and novel models which have been developed at Harwell and other institutes.

If you’re interested in this archive, use the Enquiry Form and select “Pathology” as the “Nature of Enquiry” option.


Our export team are experienced in transporting mice and germplasm to laboratories around the world. In the interests of good animal welfare, we ensure that all mice imported or exported to/from MRC Harwell conform to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and The Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA) guidelines.

We are able to distribute sperm, embryos and/or mice depending on the researcher’s requirements. All mice are specific pathogen free (SPF) having been screened in accordance with the Federation of Laboratory Animal Science Associations (FELASA) guidelines. Additional tests for other pathogens can be performed upon request.

Distribution of materials to non-profit academic research organisations will be accompanied by a non-restrictive Material Transfer Agreement.

All distribution enquiries from for-profit organisations will be forwarded to the depositor for subsequent contract negotiations. The mice will only be released once permission has been granted by the depositor.

Our services include:


Ordered Material provided Cost Other fees
Live mice Breeding nucleus (three pairs) of which three will be heterozygotes €3200 Shipping and packing is paid by the client
Frozen spermatozoa or embryos Two straws €1600 Shipping and packing is paid by the client