The Small Animal Imaging Lab (SAIL) provides a multi-modality imaging program as a core resource to investigators. The availability of ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET) allows for both anatomical and functional imaging.
For SPECT, there are 2 gamma cameras with CsI detectors combined with either single pinhole or multi-pinhole collimation providing sub-millimeter spatial resolution. The PET component utilizes LYSO crystals and depth-of-interaction technology to provide 1.1 mm spatial resolution with 9% sensitivity. It has an 8 cm transverse field of view and a 14.8 cm axial field of view. On the CT side, it utilizes a x-ray source with a 35 μm focal spot that can operate at 10-50 kVp in conjunction with a 12x12 cm (2400x2400 pixels) detector. Depending on the configuration, it can provide spatial resolution between 40-120 μm.
This is a 7T multinuclear MRI system with a 30 cm bore, designed for rabbits, rats, and mice imaging. With the maximum gradient strength of 450 mT/m, this system provides high spatial resolution images of live animals or of tissue samples. The system is equipped with 4 RF channel receivers accommodating array coils. The system includes multiple options for specialized applications such as cardiac MRI, functional MRI, dynamic contrast enhanced MRI, diffusion weighted/tensor MRI, ultra-short TE and Zero TE MRI for preclinical and molecular MR imaging. This Bruker 7T is equipped with Animal Monitoring System for the display and analysis of physiological signals during animal scanning and for the synchronization of MR acquisitions by using ECG or respiration triggering signals.
"The Siemens Focus 120 MicroPET is a high-resolution, small animal PET scanner that combines high spatial resolution (<1.3 mm) and high sensitivity (>7%) with a bore size (12 cm diameter and 7.6 axial length) that is optimized for imaging mice and rats. Among commercially available radioactive agents, we are routinely imaging with 18F 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) and 18F sodium fluoride. We have also carried out some microPET studies with 18F fluorothymidine (FLT) provided by the Division of Nuclear Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital; we have validated the synthesis of 18F FHBG and have carried out preliminary studies with this tracer."
This is a high-resolution instrument (30 microns) that can also image at high speed (up to 1000 frames per second). It is capable of imaging in 3D mode as well as M mode, and can also provide pulsed wave Doppler imaging. The device is equipped with three transducers (24, 38, and 55 MHz). The table is heated and includes sensor pads for monitoring the animal during examination. The system is routinely used for cardiac imaging in small animals, and can also be used for tumor vascular imaging with microbubbles.