Free Scanning! Use the new Ultrasound/Photoacoustic System

ATTENTION: FREE Scanning! The UWCCC has created the Ultrasound/Photoacoustic Voucher Programproviding up to 10 hours of free pilot scanning to cancer relevant applications, in order to stimulate usage on this new system! Inquire ASAP as funding is limited.

Thanks to the efforts of Jim Zagzebski and Tomy Varghese, the Medical Physics Department was awarded a National Institutes of Health grant for the purcahse of this system – users are asked to acknowledge the S10-OD018505 grant in any publication that results.

The Small Animal Imaging Facility offers imaging on the FUJIFILM VisualSonics Vevo 2100 with the Vevo LAZR module for ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging, with support from the Department of Medical Physics, the School of Medicine and Public Health, and the Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center.


The Vevo 2100 is a high frequency array-based ultrasound system with center frequencies in the 20-70 MHz range. In this range, total depth penetration is between 23mm and 9mm depending on the transducer, with resolutions reaching 30 microns. Paired with the VevoLAZR photoacoustic module, non-ionizing laser pulses are delivered into biological tissues and/or contrast agents non-invasively, creating a small amount of heat. This subtle heat creates a momentary thermoelastic expansion of the tissue/contrast agent at the ultrasonic emission wavelength, which is detected by traditional ultrasound transducers.


  • Acquire ultrasound alone or in conjunction with photoacoustic imaging
  • Quantification of oxygen saturation and hemoglobin content
  • Microvascular hemodynamics in real-time
  • Molecular and cellular imaging
  • Spectral functionality/unmixing for characterization of photoacoustic signal (680 – 970nm)
  • Vevo Multiplexer tool to detect signal from multiple sources and co-register to anatomy
  • High sensitivity, high specificity, real-time 3D volumetric imaging
  • 3D Thresholding for optimized signal intensity during data analysis
  • Vevo Color for differentiating various targets
  • Longitudinal tumor imaging for therapeutic/drug studies
  • In vivo nanoparticle and microbubble imaging
  • Automatic co-registration of photoacoustic signal to anatomic ultrasound target
  • Real-time, in vivo imaging of deep tissue
  • High resolution: 30 μm
  • 3D imaging with respiration gating


Initial scan to establish feasibility on a single animal is free of charge (up to 30 minutes). (Note that contrast agents and non-standard scanning supplies will be billed separately and will have to be purchased for free scans.) After the initial free scan, the following rates apply:

  • UW Users: $100/hour Ultrasound Imaging, $137/hour Photoacoustic Imaging (Anesthesia & Supply Charge included)
  • Commercial/Non UW Users: $230/hour Ultrasound Imaging, $310/hour Photoacoustic Imaging
  • Data Analysis: $50 for initial training session on the VevoLAB software, then available to users free of charge to perform their own analysis.  To have analysis performed for you in MatLab or other analysis software programs, contact Tomy Varghese about the Image Analysis Core for more information. The current rate is $50-125/hour, depending on the project.

Ultrasound/Photoacoustic Voucher Program **Inquire ASAP as funding is limited**

To encourage new users, the UWCCC invites Cancer Center Members to come forward with exploratory studies to see how ultrasound/photoacoustic (US/PA) imaging in animal models might be used to advance their research. The following limitations apply:

  • New Users of US/PA imaging only
  • Cap of 10 hours of instrument use time per investigator


Ultrasound and/or photoacoustic imaging studies can be scheduled after an initial new client meeting. This meeting will help ensure animal protocols are current, any necessary supplies/contrast agents are obtained, system abilities are available, funding is set up, data analysis procedures are explained, etc. Please use the email links below to set up this meeting. Subsequently, scans can be scheduled in 15-minute duration blocks and charged by the hour or on a per animal basis, depending on your needs and goals.

Please be aware it can take up to two weeks to coordinate with the Research Animal Resource Center and verify protocol requirements, so keep that in mind when planning your projects and contact us early for scheduling time.


Arrange a meeting: Email Justin JefferyAshley Weichmann and cc: Tomy Varghese with your request to arrange a meeting.

Cardiac Imaging: Email Timothy Hacker and cc: Tomy Varghese.

Please include the following in your email:

  • Your name and title
  • The PI associated with the project
  • The RARC Protocol number the animals are included on
  • Funding String to be used
  • Animal species or sample detail
  • Ex vivo or in vivo
  • Number of animals needed for the project and an estimated goal timeframe
  • Description of your project, including what data/results you are hoping ultrasound/photoacoustic imaging will provide