Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory

CORL surgery, Penn Vet

The Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet CORL) is focused on clinical and non-clinical translational services.

The Translational Services Program partners with pharmaceutical and medical-device companies, government agencies, and academic institutions to meet a broad range of R&D needs.

Penn Vet CORL has over ten years experience in the successful translation of novel therapeutic interventions from design and development to regulatory submission. The laboratory supports both GLP and VICH-GL9 compliant studies.

Please contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.

CORL tissue sectioning tool

Penn Vet CORL can assist with any stage of translational research from product development of novel technologies to regulatory submission of study data.

  • Device prototyping and mechanical testing
  • Project planning
  • Model development
  • Feasibility / pilot studies
  • Execution of pivotal studies
  • Acute and chronic data collection
  • Data mining and analysis
  • Reports and publication
  • GLP archive

 Compliance: Penn Vet CORL has a well-established infrastructure to ensure studies are conducted in compliance with Good Laboratory Practice (21 CFR, part 58 - GLP).  The internal Quality Assurance Unit works to maintain adherence to study protocols and SOP’s and produce robust data. All laboratory team members are continuously trained in this rigorous process. Additionally, regulated studies with the goal of FDA submission are monitored by an external Q/A entity.

Animal Housing

CORL Facilities, New Bolton Center

Penn Vet CORL is part of New Bolton Center’s 700-acre campus. Animal housing is designed to the highest standards for humane treatment and hygienic conditions. Species that can be accommodated include sheep, goats, pigs, horses, dogs, rabbits and rodents. Dedicated large animal housing provides the capability for large-scale, long-term studies lasting up to two years.

Surgery Suite

A fully-equipped surgery suite with separate prep and recovery areas can accommodate a wide range of surgical procedures. Intra-operative imaging capabilities include CT, C-arm fluoroscopy, arthroscopy and laparoscopy.

Veterinary Care

All animals under the care of Penn Vet CORL are monitored daily by dedicated veterinarians. In addition to routine care, the veterinarians perform examinations and treatments of animals enrolled in studies. As part of New Bolton Center, we have the unique opportunity to employ clinical services not available to most pre-clinical laboratories. Large animal hospital facilities such as the Intensive Care Unit are utilized as needed. Board-certified specialists in internal medicine and neurology, anesthesiology, imaging, ophthalmology, etc. are available for consultations. The resultant collaborative resources and expertise ensures the highest standard of care possible.

Bioskills Laboratory

The laboratory includes a purpose-built space for mechanical testing, cadaveric studies and ex vivo analysis. Acute in vivo exercises can be arranged for training purposes.

Histology Laboratory

The specialized in-house histology team is supported by state-of-the-art equipment for calcified and non-calcified tissue processing and imaging.

Ancillary Facilities

The affiliation with the University of Pennsylvania provides a myriad of resources from advanced diagnostics to cutting-edge data extraction.

  • Clinical Pathology Laboratory
  • Pathology and Necropsy Service
  • Microbiology, Toxicology and ISO certified Drug Laboratories
  • Additional imaging modalities including MRI and nuclear scintigraphy
  • Treadmill facility
  • Telemetric accelerometer systems
  • Advanced imaging including SEM, micro-CT and specialized microscopy
  • Bioinformatics, proteomics and sequencing

Penn Vet CORL has extensive experience with in vivo evaluation of biocompatibility and bioperformance of novel materials in acute and chronic animal models. Safety and efficacy evaluation of test articles follows ISO 10993 standards.

Long Bone

  • Osteotomy
  • Segmental defects
  • Osteointegration
  • Osteomyelitis


  • Intervertebral fusion
  • Non-fusion stabilization
  • Laminectomy
  • Intervertebral disc degeneration
  • Nucleus pulposus replacement
  • Vertebral body augmentation


  • Craniofacial fixation
  • Craniotomy
  • Dural defects
  • Alveolar ridge augmentation


  • Articular cartilage resurfacing
  • Meniscal defects
  • Meniscal replacement
  • Septic arthritis
  • Periprosthetic joint infection
  • Synovial fluid sampling


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Thrombosis
  • Hemostasis
  • Vascular injury

Soft Tissue

  • Laparoscopy
  • Skin-implant interface
  • Wound healing


  • Anti-infection technology
  • Biomarker assays
  • Implant-associated infections

Ziehm Vision R

  • Mobile C-arm fluoroscopic unit


  • Portable 8-slice computed tomography

Logiq 200 Pro Ultrasound

  • Digital ultrasound

In addition to the laboratory’s own imaging systems, we have access to all modalities housed at New Bolton Center. Board-certified veterinary imaging specialists consult as needed.

  • Digital radiography
  • MRI
  • Nuclear scintigraphy
  • Echocardiography


Histology Services are performed by a highly trained technical team under the supervision of veterinary pathologists.

The Histology Laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for tissue sampling and processing. Tools include tissue processors for plastic and paraffin embedding, EXAKT systems, microtome and cryotome.

Routine and specialized techniques for both hard and soft tissues and tissue-device interface histology are available.

Data analyses can be performed in-house for non-regulated studies.

Specimens of projects supporting regulatory submission are analyzed by one of our collaborating test sites.

Please contact us for more information about our Histology Services.

CORL histology, Penn Vet
CORL Histology at Penn Vet Penn Vet, CORL histology