The Small Animal Imaging Core lab houses high-resolution small animal imaging instrumentation and offers assistance from experts in:
- Operating each imaging modality
- Small animal handling procedures
- Analytical software support for quantitative image analysis
The following micro-imaging equipment includes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), micro - Computed Tomography (microCT), high-frequency ultrasound (US), bio- and fluorescence imaging system (BLI&FL), and body composition analyzer (echoMRI). CT and therapeutic x-ray (SARRP) system is available for localized radiation.
All imaging instrumentation comes fully equipped with biological (ECG, respiration, temperature) monitoring equipment and isoflurane anesthesia systems. The instrumentation can be used for in vivo live animal imaging or ex vivo specimen investigations.
High-Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
The BioSpec 94/30USR Imaging System (Bruker BioSpin Co.) is a 9.4T horizontal bore magnet that operates at 400 MHz and runs ParaVision™ 6.0.1 software. This microMRI system is designed for high-resolution MR spectroscopy and imaging of in vivo or ex vivo specimens.
The 30 cm diameter bore and extra-long table offers imaging capabilities of 1H, 13C, 19F, 23Na, 31P on mice, rats, small rabbits and ex vivo specimens. The BioSpec also includes a BioTrig monitoring unit and in vivo cardiac gating (IntraGate).
MRI applications include:
- Skeletal and soft tissue abnormalities in embryonic and adult specimens
- DCE-MRI for tumor vascularization and permeability
- In vivo spectroscopy to measure metabolites (1H, 31P)
- Cardiac imaging for assessing cardiac function, ischemia and infarcts
- T1, T2, and Diffusion maps
- Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Computed Tomography (microCT)
The SkyScan 1276 (Bruker BioSpin Co.) is a high performance, stand-alone, fast, desk-top in vivo microCT with continuously variable magnification for scanning small laboratory animals (mice and rats) and biological samples. It has an unrivalled combination of high resolution (2.8µm), big image size as well as software allowing to acquire data with breathing and ECG gating. It is capable of reconstructing 3D high resolution images throughout the animal body that can be used for quantitative morphometric measurements.
The software also allows to perform quantitative bone density measurement.
The SkyScan system can be used for:
- Whole body mouse imaging
- Lung imaging in mice and rats (e.g. tumor monitoring)
- Bone imaging and bone density measurements
- Cardiovascular imaging
- Vascularization imaging e.g. brain, tumors, ischemic tissue
- Post-contrast imaging for miscellaneous applications
CT and Therapeutic X-ray (SARRP)
The CT and X-ray therapeutic system - SARRP (Xstrahl Inc.) delivers clinically relevant radiation protocols under preclinical conditions. The SARRP system can deliver radiation dose locally with open field vary from 0.5 small focal spot to 10*10 mm window or any window up to 40*80 mm.
The SARRP system can be used:
- For local tumor treatment with minimalized dose to whole body or individual organs
- To sensitize lesion to different treatment
- Total Body Irradiation (TBI) for e.g. bone marrow or autologous stem cell transplantation
- To study skin wound, etc.
The Vevo 2100 High-Frequency Ultrasound System (FujiFilm Co.) is capable of 2D and 3D in vivo imaging in small animals, has a 30-micron spatial resolution and frame rates of up to 1000 fps. The system includes an 18, 24, 38 and 55 MHz transducer, needle-guided injection apparatus and is capable of color, pulsed wave and power Doppler, 3D imaging and advanced image analysis.
The Vevo system can be used for:
- Image-guided injections
- Evaluating developmental biology – mouse and rat embryos
- Calculating tumor size and blood flow
- Quantitative evaluation of cardiac physiological function and development
- Power and Color Doppler modes for blood flow quantification
- Contrast imaging e.g. for tissue or tumor blood perfusion
Optical imaging system IVIS Lumina II (PerkinElmer Inc.) with bioluminescence (BLI) and fluorescence capability (FL). The IVIS system is equipped with four major emission filters (GFP, DsRed, Cy5.5, ICG) and 10 excitation filters in a range of 415-760 (30 nm bandwidth each).
Optical imaging application includes:
- Tumor progression using transfected cells (BLI)
- Tumor response to therapeutic intervention (BLI)
- Development of immunological response (BLI or FL)
- Angiogenesis monitoring (FL)
EchoMRI analyzer (EchoMRI LLC.) delivers precise body composition measurements of fat, lean, free water and total water masses in live animals. Scanning takes 0.5 – 3.2 minutes. The live animals need no anesthesia and no special preparation before measurement.
EchoMRi system can be used in cancer, cardiac, toxicology, diabetic and nutritional studies.