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Small Animal Imaging

Providing imaging infrastructure, technical expertise,
and logistic coordination to facilitate state-of-the-art imaging of cancer in small animals.

The Small Animal Imaging Resource provides opportunities for optical imaging of cells in-vitro and growing in animals: notably bioluminescent imaging (BLI), chemiluminescent imaging (CLI), and fluorescent imaging (FLI). State-of-the-art commercial instruments can be used in a high-throughput mode to examine tumors developing in animals noninvasively over a period of days or weeks.

Dynamic imaging allows real-time noninvasive assessment of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Depth-resolved investigations provide 3-D insights. High-resolution small animal ultrasound (US) reveals anatomy and blood flow, and facilitates image-guided interventions. Positron emission tomography PET/CT and planar gamma-scintigraphy are available together with a radiolabeling and imaging service.

Our latest instrumentation, multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT), combines the molecular specificity of optical imaging with spatial/anatomical discrimination of ultrasound.

Capabilities are available both inside the specific pathogen-free (SPF) barrier facility and in conventional areas. Investigators may request service imaging or be trained to undertake investigations themselves. The resource can also provide advice on generating new tumor lines and assist with small-animal veterinary care and development of optimal protocols for imaging investigations. By centralizing the imaging opportunities, we are able to provide considerable expertise and cost savings for individual investigators. Full details regarding instruments, locations, examples of recent investigations, scheduling, and more may be found at the SW-SAIR website.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and proton spectroscopy (MRS) services for mice and other small animals are also provided through this shared resource and the Advanced Imaging Research Center (AIRC).

Image guided irradiation of small animals together with optical imaging and MRI is available through the new pre-clinical radiation core facility (PCR-CF).

For information on these state-of-the-art services and how to access them, please go to the Mouse MRI Core Facility website. The facility is an integral part of the UT Southwestern Small Animal Imaging Resource (SW-SAIR).


Available ServicesFee*
Planar BLI (Spectrum or Lumina) $10/image
Bioluminescent/Fluorescent l Imaging (Spectrum or Lumina) $15/hour (self-service); $30/hour (full service)
Small Animal Ultrasound $10/hour (self-service); $22.50/hour (full service)
Photoacoustic Tomography
(iThera MSOT)
$15/hour (self-service); $27.50/hour (full service)
Radio-labeling and Organic Synthesis $100/day
MRI 7.0T $100/hour

*Fees are for Cancer Center members and already reflect 50% copayment.