The GCRC has recently established a small animal live-imaging facility to facilitate molecular and anatomic multi-modality imaging. Since many experimental studies necessitate employment of the animal models, the in-vivo analysis is often used to understand the global effects of cancer. The employment of non-invasive techniques is necessary to follow the evolution of the disease and to obtain an accurate portrait of the effects of experimental treatments. Thanks to our dedicated imaging system, it is possible to localize the tumors and evaluate tissue metastasis using reporter genes and other molecular markers. These techniques are extremely valuable in the development of the treatments for cancer and for evaluating the impact of genetic modifications in mice on the development of tumors.
Currently the facility has:
• two optical imagers (ART Optix MX3 and Caliper IVS-100)
• small animal computed tomography (microCT, SKYScan)
• High-Frequency Ultrasound (Vevo 2100, Visual Sonics)
The research-dedicated animal imaging facility allows researchers to:
• Perform in-vivo non-invasive luminescence and fluorescence imaging for xenograft tumor growth and metastasis studies
• Assess and measure anatomical structures and blood velocity for small animal phenotyping
• Follow disease progression and drug response more precisely
• Significantly reduce the number of animals required for kinetic studies, all in a barrier facility.