Small Animal Imaging Core

Small Animal Imaging Core

Small Animal Imaging Core (SAIC) is a core facility of the Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging (IIBI) and the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center (HCCC).  The purpose of SAIC is to provide a comprehensive service for non-invasive anatomical and physiological imaging of small animals (mice and rats) and other biological tissue samples.  The core instrumentation consists of several imaging modalities that have been specifically purchased or modified for scanning small animals. Imaging services include microPET imaging, gamma camera scintigraphy, whole tissue biodistribution assays and autoradiography with activities underway to expand imaging capabilities to include SPECT/CT.  SAIC services available include:

  • Consultation on development of imaging protocol(s)
  • Assistance with radioactive materials and ACURF submissions
  • Animal preparation and monitoring prior to and during imaging
  • Single or multiple modality imaging
  • Image reconstruction, data reduction/analysis and result interpretation 

The SAIC Core staff will assist investigators with defining which one or more of the imaging modalities are appropriate for their research needs. This assistance encompasses the choice of the most appropriate radiopharmaceutical and imaging methodology to capture the physiological process of interest.  The Core will work with the investigators to develop a timetable for experiments, determine suitable numbers of animals to demonstrate feasibility and/or significance and assist the entire research team with the development of imaging sequences and image analysis schemes. The Core has the capability to serially image awake and anesthetized animals. The staff will also assist with collaborations between HCCC investigators and other experts across the entire UI campus in order to facilitate the investigation of new radiopharmaceuticals, contrast media, drugs, therapeutic interventions, or other specialized techniques that may be necessary for specific experiments.

The small animal imaging suite will be – at the time of facility opening in the fall of 2014 - equipped with the following small animal imaging scanners:

  • Visualsonics Vevo small animal ultrasound scanner
  • Optical/fluorescein imaging scanner
  • Micro-PET scanner
  • Micro PET/SPECT multimodality scanner
  • Micro CT scanner
  • Gamma camera
  • Specimen microtome
  • Autoradiography
  • Super-resolution microscope
  • IVIS small-animal optical imaging pre-clinical scanner

Four of ten small animal imaging bays, including a double-sized micro-MR bay, have been prepared for new devices to be acquired and installed to support small animal/translational imaging research. Magnetic and RF shielding has been installed to support a small animal MRI scanner up to 9.4T.

For more information please contact us