Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
Flash Section

Small Animal Imaging

Kenneth Olive, PhD, Director

Stephen Sastra, Manager

Christopher Damoci, Senior Staff Officer / Imaging Scientist

The Cancer Center Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource assists Cancer Center Members in imaging-based studies. The ability to use image based studies for phenotypic characterization or functional analysis has become increasingly important for biomedical research.

The goal of Animal Imaging is to provide access to a broad range of in vivo imaging technologies including molecular imaging technologies such as optical imaging, quantitative physiologic imaging with ultrasound, and anatomic imaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Most importantly, we provide expertise in planning, executing and analyzing in vivo imaging studies.

Services include:

  • Bruker BioSpec 94/20 9.4 Tesla MRI
  • VEVO 2100 Ultrasonic Imaging System
  • VEVO 2100 Analysis Software (VevoCQ)
  • IVIS Spectrum Bioluminescence and Fluorescence Optical Imaging System
  • Living Image 4.4 Optical Imaging Analysis Software

Our newest mode of Imaging is our 1 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imager from Bruker. The new compact-shielded, cryogen-free magnet design with its very small footprint has resulted in an easy-to-install MRI system with very low running costs. The ICON has a negligible magnetic fringe field – enabling safe siting of the system in any facility and the use by any individual. This compact MRI system has been designed to provide researchers with the most powerful MRI system in the most convenient form possible.

  • Applications
  • Cancer research
  • Whole Body Anatomy
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Neurological Disease
  • Molecular and multi-modality imaging

We also offer the VisualSonics Vevo2100 High Resolution Ultrasound System for small Animal Imaging. The method includes preparation of the animal for real time imaging, 2D and 3D image acquisition, and post-acquisition analysis of tumors volumes. The Vevo 2100 ultrasound system allows us to non invasively detect and measure abnormalities as well as to compare to normal tissue, thereby identifying the magnitude of the abnormalities. Of particular utility for cancer applications is the ability to use tomography to construct a 3D tumor volume, enabling longitudinal imaging studies to track tumor development, or response to therapies. Advanced applications offered include contrast ultrasonography, vascular assessment by power and/or color Doppler modes, and guided needle injection.

Post acquisition analysis on ultrasound scans is offered with the Vevo2100 Analysis software installed on a dedicated SAI SR computer for qualitative and quantitative assessments and measurements. Of particular utility is the definition of specific regions of interest for tomographic 3D reconstruction and accurate volumetric quantification of identified tumors, organs and tissue. In combination with power Doppler imaging, vascular perfusion can also be measured in these regions. VevoCQ software analysis of contrast ultrasonography experiments allows for even more thorough quantitative assessment of tissue perfusion and reperfusion. Targeted contrast agents can be co-registered with 3D reconstructions for accurate target localization.

The IVIS spectrum is an imaging technique that uses bioluminescent and fluorescent reporters that can render into a 3 dimensional view of the animal. This technique is non invasive and can be used for disease progression monitoring as well as observing gene expression patterns in vivo.


Please click here to download the SAISR Guide to Small Animal Imaging