Small Animal Preclinical Imaging

Small Animal MRI unit

Bruker PharmaScan 70/16

The Bruker PharmaScan 70/16 is a 7T preclinical MRI system that offers excellent soft-tissue contrast and a spatial resolution up to 50 µm. The system allows performing T1-weighted, T2-weighted and proton density weighted images, dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, diffusion MRI, functional MRI and MR spectroscopy. The following coils are currently available:

  • Rat head / mouse whole body Tx/Rx volume coil (40 mm inner diameter)
  • Rat whole body Tx/Rx volume coil (72 mm inner diameter)
  • Rat brain surface coil (Rx only)
  • Mini flex loop coil (2 cm, Rx only)

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Small Animal PET/CT system

TriFoil Imaging Triumph II

The Triumph II is a preclinical PET/CT system, where the PET sub-system offers a spatial resolution of 1.2 mm and sensitivity of 2%. The axial field-of-view of 80 mm makes it ideal to perform dynamic whole-body PET scans of mice using only one bed position. Automated multiple bed positions can be performed. All PET scans are acquired in listmode that provides greater flexibility in case of dynamic PET acquisitions. The CT sub-system has the flexibility to perform a wide range of scanning due to the variable focal spot (range: 30-120μm) and magnification (range: 1.3-4.0). These features facilitate optimization of the spatial resolution and field-of-view. Users may select the CT only, PET only or dual scan in any order. Data sets are intrinsically co-registered.

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Small Animal SPECT/CT system


The U-SPECT-II/CT is a preclinical SPECT/CT system based on a triangular stationary detector set-up and a robotic stage that moves the animal during scanning. The SPECT sub-system can offer sub-mm spatial resolution and is able to reveal dynamic functional/molecular processes in high time resolution. The system is equipped with easily interchangeable cylindrical collimators, each containing 75 pinholes. The following collimators are currently available:

  • Collimator with 75 pinholes of 0.35 mm diameter for mouse imaging
  • Collimator with 75 pinholes of 0.6 mm diameter for mouse imaging
  • Collimator with 75 pinholes of 1 mm diameter for rat and mouse imaging

The CT sub-system offers a spatial resolution of 80 μm, a field-of-view of 82 mm and fast scanning (minimum scan time is less than 2 minutes). Users may select the CT only, SPECT only or dual scan in any order. Data sets are intrinsically co-registered.

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Small Animal Ultrasound system

VisualSonics Vevo 2100

The Vevo 2100 system is an easy to use, non-invasive and fast preclinical ultrasound system, providing extremely high throughput when needed. The solid-state transducers provide image uniformity through the entire field of view, with 30 μm spatial resolution and frame rates in 2D up to 740 fps (for a 4 mm x 4 mm field of view). The following probes are currently available:

  • 40 MHz solid-state transducer for mice
  • 20 MHz solid-state transducer (non-linear contrast imaging)

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Small Animal Optical Imaging system

Perkin Elmer IVIS Lumina II

The IVIS Lumina II is capable of imaging both fluorescent and bioluminescent reporters in living laboratory animals (rats and mice). The system is equipped with up to 21 filter sets that can be used to image reporters that emit from green to near-infrared. An adjustable field of view from 5 – 12.5 cm allows imaging of up to 5 mice or 2 medium size rats. The Lumina II can also accommodate Petri dishes or micro-titer plates for in vitro imaging. The system includes animal handling features such as a heated stage and gas anesthesia connections.

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Small Animal Radiotherapy


The Small Animal Radiation Research Platform (SARRP) incorporates CT imaging with precise radiation delivery to enable researchers to pinpoint an exact anatomical target and confidently deliver a prescribed dose to that point. This small animal irradiator can deliver single or multiple beams of radiation to the target with high accuracy. A nozzle-shaped collimator with interchangeable inserts can provide circular radiation field sizes of 0.5 and 1 mm in diameter, and rectangular fields of 3 mm x 3 mm, 5 mm x 5 mm, 3 mm x 9 mm and 9 mm x 9 mm for high-precision, small-field, conformal irradiations. The SARRP is designed to provide the preclinical research community with the ability to engage in the most clinically relevant, reproducible, and technically advanced studies.

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Autoradiography system

Perkin Elmer Cyclone Plus

The Cyclone Plus storage phosphor system performs filmless autoradiography of tissue sections. High efficiency storage phosphor screens capture and store the activity of samples, which are exposed, as with film, in common film cassettes. Cyclone Plus is designed with state-of-the-art confocal optics and a helical scanning system. The phosphor screens are scanned by the system’s laser, focused to less than 50 µm, to create a high-resolution digitized image

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Animal learning test systems

Campden Instruments Bussey-Saksida chamber for rats

The Bussey-Saksida animal learning system for rats has a unique trapezoidal wall shape to focus the animal’s attention. The fully validated chambers are supported by ready to run paradigms. The following touch screen paradigms for rats are available: 5-choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5-CSRT), 5-Choice Continuous Performance Test (5-CCPT) and Paired-Associate Learning Task (PAL). To provide higher throughput our system controls two test chambers.

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Optogenetics system

Shanghai Laser and Optics Century blue and red laser diode

These solid-state and diode laser systems are used for optogenetics research. Optogenetics is a scientific method that enables control of targeted cell functions using light stimulation and genetically encoded light-sensitive proteins. Currently, the most popular method of optical stimulation in optogenetics research is to send the light, from a laser or an LED source, along an optical fiber, to the brain of a laboratory animal (mouse or rat). As a form of gene therapy, optogenetics makes possible highly precise spatial and temporal control of specific neuronal populations. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of optogenetic stimulation are poorly understood. In order to better understand these effects optogenetics can be combined with functional or molecular imaging techniques.
The following lasers are currently available:

  • Blue laser diode: 473 nm wavelength, 40 mW adjustable power, 5% power stability, TTL modulation
  • Red laser diode: 635 nm wavelength, 300 mW adjustable power, 3% power stability, TTL modulation

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Cryosectioning unit

Leica Biosystems CM3050S

The Leica CM3050S cryostat is the instrument of choice for all research applications and for advanced clinical cryosectioning needs. The most important settings such as section thickness (up to 300μm), cutting speed, cryochamber and specimen temperature, can be conveniently and accurately preselected by simply pushing a button. The precise specimen orientation and the specimen feed system via step motor allow reproducible thin sections of maximum quality.

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