The Lurie Family Imaging Center is the pre-clinical arm of the Center for Biomedical Imaging in Oncology (CBIO). The LFIC is a state-of-the-art 14,000 square feet preclinical imaging facility that provides investigators with access to all major pre-clinical imaging and therapeutic modalities as well as upcoming radiochemistry technologies, including: Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed tomography (CT), Ultrasound (US), Optical imaging (bioluminescence, BLI, and fluorescence, FLI), and Imaging guided radiation therapy (IGRT). The interdisciplinary in vivo translational studies conducted at the LFIC focus on cancer, with an emphasis on molecular, functional, and anatomical imaging combined with quantitative metrics based on specific mechanisms of tumor biology, such as:
• Detection of primary tumor and whole body metastases (solid and liquid tumors)
• Multimodality imaging of cancer
• Assessment of novel cancer therapeutics and go/no-go decision (co-clinical trials)
• Pharmacodynamic endpoints of drug effects on target, pathway, and downstream biological processes
• Early assessment of drug resistance
• Development of novel imaging probes and strategies
Nguyen, Quang-De, Ph.D.
Role: Scientific Director, Lurie Family Imaging Center
The Bruker BioSpec® USR70/30 horizontal bore system is a multipurpose high field MR scanner for both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) for preclinical, pharmaceutical, and fundamental research. The instrument is based on the AVANCE III HD MRI scanner architecture, consisting of an actively shielded 7 Tesla 30 cm Bore USR Magnet with cryo-refrigeration that minimizes the time and cost associated with magnet maintenance.
Four receiver channels enable the use of custom RF arrays that increase imaging efficiency, and two transmit channels support broadband imaging, spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging. Three interchangeable gradient inserts are set according to the target measurement: the largest, with 20-cm ID bore, provide a maximum gradient amplitude of 200mT/m, while 11.6-cm and 6-cm gradients, optimized for rats and mice, deliver 400 mT/m and 950 mT/m, respectively.
The MRI suite is equipped with a dedicated isoflurane anesthesia system, temperature controlled platform, cardiac gating, and respiratory gating. This 30 cm bore system achieves sub-millimeter spatial resolution with variable, user-selectable, field-of-view and sensitivity. The acquisition times range from <1 s to 30 min depending on chosen resolution, field-of-view and function.
MRI is a powerful, non-invasive imaging modality that combines high spatial resolution with exquisite soft-tissue contrast. This instrument is routinely used for longitudinal evaluation of small animal models of cancer through anatomical or functional imaging, including, diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), perfusion and blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) contrast, dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) imaging, and spectroscopy. This system is also commonly used for screening, and the evaluation of novel contrast agents, therapeutic agents and advanced imaging methods.
The Siemens Inveon® Multi-Modality System is a versatile platform for pre-clinical CT, SPECT, and PET studies on a single integrated gantry. The system can be configured for PET-CT, SPECT-CT, PET-SPECT-CT or CT only. The large area CT system has a field of view up to 10 cm x 10 cm and resolution down to 20 microns. The PET system can deliver 1.4mm FWHM spatial resolution, and a maximum field of view of 10cm x 30cm. Whole mouse and rat SPECT studies are possible using gamma rays ranging in energy from 30 to 300 keV, with automated zoom for optimising the field of view.
The setting uses a dedicated COBRA reconstruction workstation that runs on a 64-bit multi-core processor to perform real-time reconstruction of an entire mouse within a few minutes. During the reconstructions, the image acquisition workstation is available to perform additional scans, allowing uninterrupted multi-modality imaging and fast throughput. The scanner uses a dedicated sevoflurane inhalation gas anesthesia system, heated imaging chambers and imaging platforms, and the BioVet Physiological Monitoring System to monitor body-temperature, respiration and cardiac activity. A set of two lasers on the outside of the microCT gantry is used to ensure that specimens will be centered within the field-of-view.
In addition to the microSPECT/PET/CT scanner, the radiochemistry suite is fully equipped with a dedicated shielded animal holding room, a well counter, a Packard Cobra II Gamma Counter (model D5010 with 10-detector system (2-inches NaI through-hole crystal detector, 2000 KeV energy range), and a customized animal holding platform for catheter placement and intravenous injection.
PET key features:
20 x 20 LSO crystal array detectors
10 cm x 12.7 cm transaxial and axial FOV ,
1.4 mm FWHM isotropic spatial resolution at the center FOV
list-mode acquisition, static or dynamic imaging
2D and 3D image reconstructions
wide range of PET radiotracers including 18F-FDG, 18F-NaF, 18F-FLT, 11C-Acetate, in addition to many more investigational molecular imaging probes labeled with 18F, 11C, 64Cu, 62Cu, 68Ga, 89Zr, 13N, 15O and other positron-emitting radionuclides.
SPECT key features:
two detectors of pixelated NaI(Tl)-crystals
spatial resolution between 0.8 mm and 1.25 mm with the multi-pinhole mouse-brain collimators
3DOSEM or MAP3D iterative reconstructions
wide range of SPECT radiotracers including 99mTc-Pertechnetate, 99mTc-MDP, 99mTc-MIBI, 67Ga-citrate, 201Tl-chloride, 111In-Octreotide, 111In-Oxine, 123I-NaI, in addition to many more investigational molecular imaging probes.
CT key features:
80 W, tungsten anode, 35-80 kVp standard source
isotropic image resolution of up to 40 µm,
FOV from 4.4 cm x 4.4 cm up to 10 cm x 10 cm
Nuclear imaging techniques PET and SPECT allow imaging of radiotracer molecules at picomolar concentrations, and they provide uniquely non-invasive, non-toxic, quantitative, longitudinal and functional images of tumor biology. They are also useful in diagnosis and for helping to understand the mechanisms of tumorigenesis. PET is more sensitive than SPECT, whereas the spatial resolution of SPECT is better than that of PET in small-animal imaging.
CT provides a high degree of spatial resolution that is well suited for tumor phenotyping and anatomical detail, and is is generally label-free. However, it lacks molecular specificity.
To complement functional imaging with anatomical detail, it is crucial to coregister molecular data collected through PET or SPECT with the more precise association of signal to anatomical regions shown on CT (or MRI).
Bioluminescence and fluorescence optical imaging (BLI and FLI) is performed on two PerkinElmer IVIS® Spectrum Preclinical In Vivo Imaging Systems equipped with dedicated isoflurane anesthesia systems and a temperature controlled chamber. The IVIS® Spectrum in vivo imaging system uses leading optical imaging technology to facilitate non-invasive longitudinal monitoring of disease progression, cell trafficking and gene expression patterns in living animals. An optimized set of high-efficiency filters and spectral unmixing algorithms allows researchers to take full advantage of bioluminescent and fluorescent reporters across the blue-to-near-infrared wavelength region. The IVIS® Spectrum can be used in oncology research to follow disease progression, to detect micro metastasis and metastasis spontaneously generated from primary tumors, to accurately quantify tumor burden, and effectively monitor responses to therapeutic treatments longitudinally.
High-sensitivity in vivo imaging of fluorescence and bioluminescence
High throughput (5 mice) with 23 cm field of view
High resolution (to 20 microns) with 3.9 cm field of view
Twenty-eight high efficiency filters spanning 430-850 nm
Multispectral imaging with superior spectral unmixing properties
Ideal for distinguishing multiple bioluminescent and fluorescent reporters
Ideal for distinguishing multiple bioluminescent and fluorescent reporters
3D diffuse tomographic reconstruction for both fluorescence and bioluminescence
Noninvasive in vivo ultrasound imaging is performed on a FUJIFILM VisualSonics Vevo 770® High-Resolution Imaging System. The Vevo 770® system operates in the very-high-frequency range (center frequencies of 25-55 MHz), with maximum frame rates in 2D up to 200 fps (frames per second). The system can be operated on B-Mode (2D) for anatomical visualization and quantification, on M-Mode for single line acquisition allowing for high-temporal (1000 fps) resolution of cardiovascular function, on Power Doppler for detection and quantification of blood flow in small vessels, as well as on 3D imaging mode for quantification of volume and vascularity within a defined anatomical structure. The RMV (real-time microvisualization) transducers can be used as a hand-held probe for rapid screening procedures or be attached to the Integrated Rail System III. The integrated Rail System III helps position an anesthetized mouse in a stable position in relation to the transducer so that a correct image plane can be maintained during an imaging session while the animal’s ECG, heart rate, and core body temperature can be monitored and maintained, and image-guided injection procedures, e.g. injection of cells into the left ventricle of an adult mouse, can then be performed.
The Vevo 770® system is a state-of-the-art high-resolution micro-ultrasound imaging system designed especially for small animal imaging research, enabling the visualization and quantification of small animal anatomical targets, hemodynamics, and therapeutic interventions with resolution as low as 30 microns. The Vevo 770® system provides a fast, cost-effective method for visualizing disease in a wide range of small animal models of cancer.
CT image-guided X-ray irradiation is performed on an Precision X-Ray X-RAD 225Cx image-guided biological irradiator System, which is equipped with a 225 kVp X-ray source, pixelated CsI detector. This system is also used to perform cone beam CT imaging, fluoroscopy scans using an Al imaging-beam filter and small focal spot, and image-guided irradiation using the Cu treatment-beam filter and large focal spot. Brass and lead collimator cones are used to define the size and shape the therapeutic beam at the isocenter of the X-ray gantry and the animal platform. The largest “open-field” therapeutic beam can deliver uniform dose to an 11 cm x 11 cm square field at isocenter for whole-body irradiation. The collimator cones can be used to cone-down the therapeutic beam to various sizes ranging from 4 cm through 1 mm, and into circular, square, and rectangular shapes, for whole-brain irradiation and for much smaller targets such as in vivo tumors and in vitro targets such as cell cultures. The X-Rad image-guided targeting can be as precise as ± 0.5 mm for well defined targets, and the system delivers a dose-rate of 4.22 Gy/min, at 5 mm depth in water at isocenter, with the open-field treatment beam.
This X-rad irradiator uses a dedicated isoflurane inhalation gas anesthesia system for in vivo imaging and therapy, and has a lead glass viewing window built into the shielded cabinet for monitoring animals during treatment. A 64-bit multi-core dedicated workstation uses the Image Acquisition and Reconstruction, 3D alignment and Targeting Software for cone beam CT image reconstruction, and for multi-modality image registration and therapy planning.