Rat Models

CRISPR Genome Rat Models

For decades, mice have been the major transgenic in vivo model for gene function studies and drug discovery. Their low maintenance cost and easy manipulation made them a preferred tool for pre-clinical research. However, there is still a significant void in animal models required for specific research purposes which the mouse models have been unable to fill. As the need for a better understanding of human genetics has grown, there has been an increased demand for improved transgenic animal models.

Rat models are making a comeback as a preferred in vivo model for researchers who seek a better representation of human genetics and physiology. 

Why do we need transgenic rat models?

  • Mouse models are not always reliable in preclinical studies and have several limitations for modeling human diseases
  • Rats were once the most widely used animal models in biomedical research until they were displaced by the transgenic mouse about 30 years ago.
  • The metabolism, physiology and pathology of rats are closer to human than mice
  • Larger size of rats allows for sophisticated surgeries, instrumentation and manipulations
  • Better behavioral models for cognition and memory, neurological and psychological assays and drug screening
  • Superior model for cardiovascular diseases (stroke and hypertension), autoimmune disorders, diabetes, breast cancer, and autoimmune disorders

The successful isolation of rat embryonic stem cells (rES) and complimenting accomplishments in site-directed mutagenesis using techniques such as TARGATT™, CRISPR/Cas9, ZFNs and TALENs have made the generation of transgenic rat models possible. 

Comparison of transgenic technologies


Technical Advantage


phiC31 integrase

Site specific integration (H11 or ROSA26)
Works for large DNA Knock-in (-22kb)


High specificity
High frequency in Knockout, Conditional Knockout
Ease of use
Works for large DNA knock-in (-10kb)



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