Animal models (including transgenic and knock-out mouse models) are routinely used to identify biomarkers of human diseases and to devise novel therapeutic strategies. In vivo, non-invasive imaging of mice and rats is ideally suited to assess the efficacy of such biomarkers, characterize mechanisms of disease progression, and assess response to therapy longitudinally in preclinical rodent models. Importantly, preclinical imaging plays a critical role in the translation and practice of precision medicine by providing a platform to identify and characterize early diagnostic markers, guide and evaluate adaptive therapeutic strategies, and to assess mechanisms of residual disease. In this context, the Preclinical Imaging Facility has been collaborating with investigators throughout WUSM for over two decades to perform qualitative and quantitative preclinical imaging in a broad range of domains including cardiac/cardiovascular imaging, imaging manifestations of metabolic syndrome, pulmonary/lung imaging, cancer/oncologic imaging, brain/neuroimaging, and skeletal imaging to name a few. Over the years, the facility has amassed combined expertise of over six decades in developing preclinical imaging strategies in numerous applications, including:

• Quantitative assessment of disease progression and therapeutic response
• Physiologic and functional imaging of disease biomarkers and mechanisms
• Metabolic imaging (e.g., cancer metabolism, substrate metabolism)
• Antibody and peptide radiolabeling and imaging for target engagement and whole-body bio-distribution
• Imaging infectious diseases (primarily bacterial infections)
• Development of small molecules for imaging disease mechanisms
• Receptor occupancy and availability
• Dose finding studies for therapeutic response
• Radiolabeling and imaging of drugs for pharmacokinetic studies
• Functionalization of nanoparticles for imaging and therapeutic applications
• In vivo pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies
• Quantitative image phenotyping and modeling
• Radiation dosimetry

Core Description

The Preclinical Imaging Facility is biosafety level 2 (BSL2) state-of-the-art core facility administered by the Department of Radiology with capabilities for in-vivo small and large animal imaging studies. The Facility provides investigators the tools and expertise to gather reliable and reproducible data in support of translational imaging and theranostic strategies. The Facility is located in proximity of the Cyclotron Facility with access to wide array of clinical grade radiopharmaceuticals. In addition, the facility interfaces with the Radiological Chemistry and Imaging Lab (RCIL), the Optical Imaging Lab (ORL) and the Biomedical MR Lab (BMRL) in the Department of Radiology to facilitate the needs of preclinical imaging.

Access

Service available to All entities, including for-profit organizations.

Priority service for Specific groups, centers or departments – see Additional Information for details.

Additional information:

Siteman Cancer Center — Members receive priority access and study design consultation.

The Preclinical PET/CT Imaging is a fee based facility. Consultation with management is required before using this facility. All users must clarify with their laboratory PI regarding the User Fees prior to using the facility. Please contact Nikki Fettig: fettign@wustl.edu to address any questions.

Services

  • Small animal CT Imaging
  • Multi-modality PET-CT imaging
  • Simultaneous PET/MR imaging—enabling multi-parametric MR/PET and PET/MR spectroscopy
  • Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) of radioactive materials
  • Cerenkov imaging
  • Radio-bioluminescence imaging
  • Biodistribution studies
  • Radiation dosimetry for translation of imaging agents
  • Cell culture support (over 80 human and murine cell lines are available)
  • Surgical/technical procedures including administration of imaging agents, drugs, and tumor inoculation
  • Consultation on study design and protocol development
  • Project coordination with cyclotron, radiochemists, DCM housing, and other investigators
  • Image analysis/quantification (facility supported or collaboration depending on complexity)

Equipment

  • Siemens microPET Focus F220 scanner
  • Siemens Inveon MM PET/CT scanner
  • MR Solutions simultaneous PET/MR scanner
  • GE Typhoon FLA 9500 Biomolecular Imager
  • Perkin-Elmer Caliper IVIS Imager
  • C-arm portable X-ray imaging for large animals
  • Macrotome for large tissue slicing
  • Leica 1860 Cryostat
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Gamma counters
  • Short-term animal housing for radioactive material (RAM) decay
  • Image-analysis station for facility users
  • Animal physiology monitoring equipment

Pricing

Pricing is subject to core verification

For pricing information, please contact the facility manager Nikki Fettig: fettign@wustl.edu


AFFILIATIONS
Siteman Cancer Center (SCC)
Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR)