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Sample depilation (hair removal) procedure for in vivo imaging on ASK

This information is provided as an example protocol. Always be sure that IACUC or ethic committee approval is in place before beginning any experimental protocol.

In order to image on the FMT2500, subject animals need to be depilated, or have their hair removed. Hair interferes with accurate laser imaging and often will not allow the FMT2500 to even image an area on a mouse. The preferred method of depilation at PerkinElmer is Nair™.

Potential Cautions

In order to remove hair using Nair™, the animal must be anesthetized using an i.p. injection of Ketamine/Xylazine. An approved IACUC procedure for your institution should be used with appropriate dosing.

Nair™ can be a skin irritant for both humans and animals. Nair™ should not be left on animal for longer than 5-10 minutes and should be thoroughly washed away after depilation.


  1. Lab coats and gloves should be worn at all times when in the animal facility. Goggles can also be worn if needed. 
  2. Gather animals to be depilated and Nair™. 
  3. Mix ketamine/xylazine in a 1.5 mL microcentrifuge tube 
  4. Collect enough ketamine/xylazine mixture for the number of animals to be depilated in a 1 mL syringe with a 27 gauge needle attached. The dose per animal can be calculated as appropriate. Be sure to weigh animal prior to injecting to ensure proper amount. 
  5. Remove all air bubbles from the syringe.
  6. Inject the calculated dose of ketamin/xylazine into the animal intrapertioneally. 
  7. Observe the animals for signs of consciousness. When animal appears induced, add a few drops of Nair™ to the area in need of depilation. 
  8. Gently massage the Nair™ around the areas to be depilated. 
  9. Allow the animal to rest comfortably for 5-10 minutes. Placing animal on heating pad after depilation ensures maximum comfort. 
  10. Rinse the areas where Nair™ has contacted thoroughly. Ensure that the mouse does not swallow or breathe in any water. 
  11. Repeat steps 8-10 if needed. 
  12. Once mouse has been depilated fully, move to a heating pad or to its original cage.