Small Animal Imaging Unit

The Small Animal Imaging Unit of the Cell & Molecular Imaging Shared Resource provides state-of-the-art instrumentation enabling noninvasive anatomical, metabolic, and functional imaging. This unit is able to monitor cellular events such as tumor progression and metastasis in living animals. In vivo fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging is also used to evaluate tumor metabolism and cell biology in response to genetic manipulations, pharmacologic agents and cancer chemotherapy drugs. This unit has experience in in vivo imaging of brain, colon, lung, head and neck cancers as well as multiple other tumor types.

The Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource is located on the 4th floor of the Hollings Cancer Center in suite 403.

Associate Director
Ann-Marie Broome, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Cell and Molecular Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
Basic Science Building – BSB 319D
Optical Imaging & Compliance Manager
Dean "DJ" Connor, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Cell and Molecular Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
Basic Science Building – BSB 324
7T MRI Specialist
Xingju Nie M.D., MS
Center for Biomedical Imaging,
Radiology & Radiological Sciences
Bioengineering Building - 220

As an MUSC core facility, the HCC SAI Facility strives to provide comprehensive imaging support for biomedical research. We encourage a wide range of collaborations between various groups to explore new imaging techniques, novel imaging contrast agents, or new applications in various research fields. Our current imaging modalities include:

  • micro PET/CT
  • Bioluminescence
  • Fluorescence

In addition to imaging services, we also offer various support for imaging related studies:

  • Experimental design
  • Animal protocol development and IACUC amendments
  • Radioisotope ordering
  • Image data post-processing
  • Imaging-based PK and biodistribution analysis
  • Imaging probe verification
  • Animal surgery and related procedures for imaging studies, such as cranial surgery, tumor implantation, catheterization, or tail vein injection

Services & Equipment

  • PerkinElmer Maestro 2 In Vivo Fluorescence Imaging System
    The Maestro 2 provides state-of-the-art fluorescence imaging of small animals and generates anatomical organ maps for co-localization. Features include a light-tight enclosure, configurable imaging area, tunable multispectral camera, heated imaging chamber, and spectral unmixing. A solid-state LCTF captures multispectral fluorescence images of small animals at multiple user-defined wavelengths between blue and near infrared.
  • PerkinElmer Xenogen IVIS 200 In Vivo Bioluminescence Imaging System
    The IVIS 200 is capable of imaging up to five animals at a time and provides limited 3-D depth information. The imaging system includes a heated specimen platform for the animals and a cooled back-thinned CCD camera to capture both visible light photographs and luminescent images. Images can be obtained in less than one minute.
  • Siemens Inveon Micro-PET/CT (multi-modal)
    This dual-modality system acquires co-registered micro-CT and micro-PET images so that PET image data can be anatomically localized from micro-CT imaging data. The micro-CT unit has a 30-80 kVp x-ray source with a 9 cm x 6 cm maximum field of view. Ultra-high resolution images down to 15 μm of ex vivo specimens can be obtained. For micro-PET studies, 18F-FDG metabolic imaging is available. Images of one to several millimeters are achievable.
  • Bruker 7T Small-Bore MRI
    The BioSpec 70/30 MRI scanner is a multipurpose system for high-resolution MR spectroscopy and imaging that operates at 7 Tesla with a warm bore diameter of 30 cm well suited for 2D and 3D high-resolution anatomical imaging, diffusion/diffusion tensor imaging, flow imaging, cardiac imaging, dynamic contrast imaging, functional MRI, chemical shift imaging, and localized spectroscopy. A small animal monitoring system allows collection of core temperature, ECG, breathing frequency, blood oxygen level, and pulse rate.
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