Preclinical Imaging - Services

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The Preclinical Imaging Shared Resource provides access to in-vivo imaging systems. These systems allow for non-invasive repeated studies of individual animals over longer time periods thus facilitating earlier detection and simpler monitoring of biological changes. There are distinct imaging modalities available within the facility; each has its advantages and disadvantages and provides unique experimental data.

Following a consultation with the resource manager, an imaging strategy will be designed to identify the following:

  • The mode of imaging most appropriate for the study.
  • The institutional approvals required prior to performing the service.
  • The availability of experimental animals and animal care facility space.
  • The start date and duration of the service.
  • The frequency of imaging and the number of animals to be imaged at each time-point.
  • Whether the user can be trained to use facility equipment independently.
  • Additional required reagents.
  • The type and level of image processing and analysis needed.
  • Data management and delivery requirements.

The shared resource also provides several image processing and analysis services based on the size and complexity of the generated imaging data. Trained resource personnel or approved users may perform processing and manipulations of large datasets with proprietary software on the dedicated resource workstations. Alternatively, users may opt to use multi-format, open source software on their personal computers after the resource has generated and delivered the imaging data.

In addition to in-vivo imaging of mice, the facility's equipment can be used to image ex-vivo samples such as bone sections or cell cultures.

Use of all facility equipment will be billed on an hourly basis. Services involving animals will include an additional charge to cover the cost of consumables (i.e. isoflurane anesthetic, compressed oxygen and air filters). Additional at cost charges exists for PET isotopes and CT contrast agents (if applicable). Lastly, users requesting bioluminescent imaging are required to supply Luciferin for injection.

Required institutional approvals (i.e. IACUC and/or IRB) must be provided to the resource prior to initiation of services. In addition, all animals to be imaged must be kept solely within the Cancer Institute's animal care facility. Transportation to and storage of animals within the animal care facility must be organized and approved by the facility management.