GENETIC PRESERVATION

Genetic preservation is a four-step process that takes approximately three weeks to complete. It begins with your ordering a tissue kit that your veterinarian uses to harvest and ship tissue to PERPETUATE'S laboratory. Cells are cultured from the tissue samples and then stored in PERPETUATE’S Bio-Kennels. In addition, some cells are used to produce a genetic marker that enables you to identify your pet, their cells and their clones. PERPETUATE’S fee for processing and the first year's storage is $1300 thereafter the annual storage fee is $100.

Cell Culturing

Genetic preservation begins with the painless collection of tissue by a veterinarian. While under local or general anesthesia your veterinarian uses a biopsy punch or other surgical instrument to obtain two pieces of skin each approximately the size of a pencil eraser. These tissue samples are then shipped in an insulated container with an ice gel pack by overnight courier to the PERPETUATE's laboratory in Massachusetts where they are processed.

 

Culturing involves first segregating desired cells from the tissue; placing these cells in an optimal controlled growth environment; and continuing to grow the cells until a cell line of a million or more cells is achieved.

Cell Line Cryopreservation

Once a cell line is established, the cells are cryopreserved by a graduated freezing process to extreme temperatures (-320° F.) Cryopreservation is a unique biotechnology that permits living cells to be kept viable at extremely low temperatures then thawed and used for cloning or other purposes.

Cell Line Storage

Cryopreserved vials of cells are placed in liquid nitrogen in PERPETUATE's Bio-Kennels. PERPETUATE maintains two separate storage units one of which owners can visit. The location of the second Bio-Kennel is not disclosed for security reasons. Cells can be kept viable in liquid nitrogen for decades.

Genetic Markers

Genetic Markers or 'DNA signatures' are developed for each animal that PERPETUATE cultures and cryopreserves. The genotypes are produced by the independent Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California in Davis, California and are used to identify the animal, cell line and clone.