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Imaging

In vivo imaging modalities detect biological processes in preclinical models with great sensitivity and high resolution. One of the main advantages of In vivo  imaging is the possibility to monitor gover time and in a non invasivle method the evolution of a phenomenon in the same animal. Imaging sets up a unique tool for translational research and exhibits a high potential to accelerate the understanding of diseases as well as to  select drug candidates for pharmaceutical development.

We provide researchers with innovative imaging tools and define, together with the teams, the most suitable imaging strategy to address their scientific issue.

Imaging_Titre_Xray

  • Bone tumor / metastasis
  • Skeleton
  • Lung tumor / metastasis

Imaging_Titre_Ultrasounds

  • Blood flow, organ and tumor vasculature
  • Anatomical imaging
  • Ultrasound-guided injection and biopsy
  • Contrast imaging (microbubbles)

Imaging_Titre_Optical

  • Bioluminescence
  • Fluorescence

Imaging_Titre_Radioisotopic

  • Physiological functions, tumor metabolism
  • Biodistribution, targeting studies
  • Phagocytosis
  • Cell trafficking

Imaging_Titre_Photoacoustic

  • Hypoxia
  • Lymphatic system

2D Imaging

  • Functional imaging
  • X ray guided imaging
  • Radiology
  • Scintigraphy
  • Bioluminescence

3D Imaging

  • Computed Tomography (CT)
  • Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography  (SPECT)
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • Near InfraRed Fluorescence, Bioluminescence
  • Ultrasounds (US) coupled or not to photoacoustic (PA) imaging

Organs / Cells examined in Xenografts

  • Pancreas
  • Colon
  • Lung
  • Bone
  • Mammary gland
  • Brain
  • Melanoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Bioluminescent cell lines

 

 

 

 


Available Bioluminescent Tumor Cells

MURINE LINES

  • 4 T1 (mammary)
  • B16F10 (melanoma)
  • LL2 (lung)

HUMAN LINES

  • PC3 (prostate)
  • HCT116 (colon)
  • HT29 (colon)
  • MDA MB231 (breast)
  • MCF7 (breast)
  • PMiaPaCa2 (pancreas)
  • H460 (lung)
  • A549 (lung)
  • U87 (brain)
  • 786O (kidney)

Have a look at our listing of prestations

Optical imaging

Purpose

Bioluminescence imaging is based on the detection of light emitted as a result of an enzymatic reaction involving a couple “enzyme / substrate”, usually “luciferase / luciferin”. When the enzyme is introduced into systems that are not naturally bioluminescent (cells, bacteria, transgenic animals), these systems play the role of reporter gene and allow to address many biological issues such as gene expression, cell proliferation (cancer) or bacterial dissemination (infectious diseases), for example. A dedicated camera collects emitted photons and the signal is processed to obtain images.

Bioluminescence is performed with IVIS Lumina systems and can be carried out under BSL3 conditions.

Some examples of applications :

  • Monitoring of tumor proliferation and metastasis (bioluminescent tumor cells)
  • Drug efficiency
  • Analysis of organ distribution of biomolecules engineered to transport and deliver nucleic acids on living animals

Equipment

IVIS Lumina III (Perkin Elmer)

Our available bioluminescent tumor cells:

Murine cell lines:
  • 4T1 (mammary)
  • B16F10 (melanoma)
  • LL2 (lung)H
Human cell lines:
  • PC3 (prostate)
  • HCT116 (colon)
  • HT29 (colon)
  • MDA MB231 (breast)
  • MCF7 (breast)
  • MiaPaCa2 (pancreas)
  • H460 (lung)
  • A549 (lung)
  • U87 (brain)
  • 786O (kidney)

Purpose

Fluorescence is based on the excitation of a fluorophore then detection of emitted light. The incident light illuminates the fluorophore with one given wavelength that in return emits photons of longer wavelengths. Thus, fluorescence imaging needs a light source to excite the fluorophore within the targeted tissue, combined with a spectral filter to select the excitation wavelength, a second filter that only allows passage of the emitted fluorescence and finally a detector that detects the signal.

Fluorescence is performed with IVIS Lumina systems as planar epi-fluorescence mainly in the near infra-red wavelengths. Imaging can be performed in vivo (superficial foci) or ex vivo (organs).

Some examples of applications:

  • Integrins targeting with fluo RGD targeting probe
  • Cell/tumor targeting with fluo antibodies

Photoacoustic imaging

Purpose

Photoacoustic imaging is based on the following principle: when producing illuminating laser pulses, lasting several nanoseconds, these light pulses lead to a slight localized heating of the tissue, causing thermoelastic expansion and a subsequent production of ultrasound waves that can be detected on the skin surface.

Some examples of applications:

  • Hypoxia
  • Lymphatic system

Equipment

Photoacoustic imaging is operated with a VevoLAZR device.

Radioisotopic imaging

Purpose

Radioisotopic modalities require the use of exogenous radioactive tracers. Depending on radiochemistry and impact on bioactivity, radioactivity can possibly be linked to probe molecules, antibodies, cells, nanoparticles.

  • SPECT (Single Photon Emitted Computed Tomography) uses gamma rays emitters and is performed with a NanoSPECT/CT device.
  • PET (Positron Emission Tomography) uses positron emitters and is performed with an eXplore Vista system.

These machines can be operated with mice and rats.

Some examples of applications :

  • Physiological functions, tumor metabolism
  • Biodistribution / targeting studies
  • Phagocytosis
  • Cell trafficking

Equipment

  • NanoSPECT/CT device
  • eXplore Vista system.

Ultrasounds imaging

Purpose

Non-invasive tracking of internal tumor growth using ultrasound or X-ray imaging of tumor density contrasts.

Purpose

We can provide intratumoral delivery of compounds or genetic vectors without the need for surgery using echographic image-guided injection.  

Purpose

Ultrasound visualizaton of kidneys for non-invasive assessment of tumor growth, mineralization, or cysts.  

Purpose

Orthotopic growth of tumors in soft abdominal organs, i.e. liver, spleen, kidney, can better recapitulate growth conditions of certain tumors. We can provide orthotopic injection without the need for surgery using echographic image-guided injection of cancer cells.  

Purpose

US is an imaging tool that is based on the properties and behavior of high-frequency sound waves as they travel through biological tissues. For such a purpose, a transducer (also called a probe) sends and receives sound waves from the animal.

Some examples of applications:

  • Blood flow, organ and tumor vasculature
  • Anatomical imaging, cancer biology, embryology and reproduction, cardiology, vascular system, nephrology, hepatology, ophthalmology, rheumatology, regenerative medicine and RAstem cells
  • Ultrasound-guided injection and biopsy
  • Contrast imaging (microbubbles)

Equipment

Ultrasound is performed with a VevoLAZR and some probes are compliant with mice or rats.

X-Ray imaging

Purpose


Bone architecture may be analysed by both in vivo and in situ using Micron-scale X-ray Computed Tomography (also called µCT). It is particularly helpful for bone dynamics analysis. This augments our current capacities of skeletal examinations by TRAP histological stain, X-ray, DEXA scanning, quantitative NMR, and adapted clinical chemistry analysis.

Equipment

µCT (PerkinElmer Quantum FX, Waltham, Massachusetts)

Imaging_X ray Bone dynamics MicroCT equipment

Sample Data

  • In vivo longitudinal and ex vivo studies 
  • Fast and high quality, ready to publish data

Imaging_Bone analysis microCT 2017-2

Representative 3D volumes illustrating trabecular microarchitecture in the distal femur (left) and caudal vertebra (right) of Sham-operated and Ovarectomized (OVX) mice, 9 weeks after surgery. Similar volumes are used for morphometric quantification.

Imaging_X ray Bone dynamics MicroCT_Longitudinal change in trabecular bone graphs

Example of longitudinal changes in trabecular bone volume fraction (BV/TV) and trabecular number (Tb.N) for Sham and OVX groups.

 

Imaging_Bone dynamics microCT Tibia

Representative 3D volumes illustrating cortical bone in the tibia of Sham-operated and Ovarectomized OVX mice, 9 weeks after surgery. The illustrations were generated by Alexandru Parlog (PHENOMIN-ICS).

Imaging_X ray Bone dynamics MicroCT_Longitudinal change in cortical bone and thickness graphs

Example of longitudinal changes in cortical bone volume fraction (BV/TV) and cortical thickness (Cr.Th) for Sham-operated and Ovarectomized OVX groups.

Recommendations

Contact us for help in designing your experiments on bone dynamics.

Purpose

The X-Ray system gives very precise images of the skeletton. In DXA mode it automatically calculates BMD, BMC, and lean and fat mass percentages.

Strain background references

Champy MF, Selloum M, Zeitler V, Caradec C, Jung B, Rousseau S, Pouilly L, Sorg T, Auwerx J. 
Genetic background determines metabolic phenotypes in the mouse. 
Mamm Genome. 2008 May;19(5):318-31. Epub 2008 Apr 5.

Equipment 

Imaging_Bone mineral density equipment DEXA

pDEXA Sabre (Norland)

Sample data

Imaging_Bone mineral density image DEXA

Recommendations

  • For performance in conjunction with X-ray analysis.
  • 8 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

CT is a technique that relies on differential levels of X-ray attenuation by tissues within the body to produce images reflecting anatomy.

Purpose

The assay is developed to provide  high resolution images of the whole mouse skeleton. Analysis of the digital X-ray pictures is generally performed with respect to bones from the head (zygomatic bone, maxilla, mandibles), teeth, scapulae, clavicle, ribs (number, shape, fusion), pelvis, vertebrae (numbers, shape and potential fusion of cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic and caudal ones), limb bones (humerus, radius, ulna, femur, tibia), joints, digits and syndactylism.

Equipment and sample data

X-Ray MX-20 Specimen (Faxitron, Tucson, Arizona, USA)

Imaging_X-ray equipment

Sample data

Imaging_X-ray image

Recommendations

At least 5 mice per group are required for appropriated analysis.

Imaging_X-ray graph

Models and Challenges