Preclinical Imaging - Equipment

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Bioluminescent or Fluorescent Imaging: The IVIS Spectrum from Caliper Life Sciences allows researchers to conduct high-throughput and highly sensitive in-vivo imaging of small animals using fluorescence or bioluminescence. The system is equipped with 10 narrow band excitation filters and 18 narrow band emission filters both spanning 430-850nm and supports spectral un-mixing making it ideal for distinguishing multiple bioluminescent or fluorescent reporters. The options of reflective or transmission fluorescent illumination combined with 3D diffuse tomographic reconstruction mean that signals can be detected and the location identified throughout the animal. Registration of images with a Digital Mouse Atlas is possible and the potential exists for co-registration with different imaging modalities. The system can be calibrated against known cell numbers or fluorescent standards to provide accurate signal quantification. Both complex and simple imaging options exist within this system. Users are trained on simple imaging options only.

CT or PET Imaging: The INVEON PET/CT from Siemens is a multi-modality imaging system able to provide 3D CT and PET images of small animals. Powerful acquisition and processing software means high quality anatomical CT images are easily co-registered with functional PET data. CT and PET scans use the same gantry so the animal need only be anesthetized once.

Using the lowest magnification the CT system has a maximum field of view of 8.4 x 5.5cm which can provide whole mouse anatomical resolution. At its highest settings resolutions of 40 microns are possible, ideal for microscopic analysis of bone. Physiological gating and the administration of contrast agents are capable of improving image quality and tissue contrast but add to the length of scan and cost. Consultation, design and testing of imaging parameters will be important in establishing the appropriate protocols for each experiment. The PET system is designed with highly sensitive detectors in order to reduce dose or acquisition time while enabling high resolution, accurate analysis. It has a large axial field of view providing full body imaging without reducing sampling. PET scans will be limited to F18 work with possible future expansion to other radiotracers.