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The facility director and manager of the Small Animal Imaging and Radiotherapy Facility (SAIRF) provide free consultation to determine which imaging and radiotherapy methodologies best meet the investigator’s research objectives. The following are examples of parameters that can be tailored in an imaging or radiotherapy study:
- Number of subjects per group
- Animal diet and temperature
- Imaging modality
- Contrast agent
- Imaging time points
- Scan duration
- Temporal and spatial resolution
- Static or dynamic framing
- Image reconstruction
Dedicated Animal Housing
- In order to ensure and preserve the pathological integrity of the Biomedical Research Model Services (BRMS) facilities, investigators are required to transfer their animals to our general microimaging protocol (M005532). Users must complete an Animal Transfer Form and a Biohazard Intake Form for approval from BRMS before animals can be transported to our facility in WIMR.
- The dedicated SAIRF animal housing facility utilizes Innovive ventilated rodent housing systems, in rooms with automatic 12hr dark/light cycle, and strictly regulated temperature, pressure, and humidity controls to ensure a healthy, stable environment. Animal health, food, water, and bedding are monitored twice per day and maintained as necessary by the SAIRF and BRMS staff. A daily per diem rate per cage, in addition to the cost of disposable cages, is applied to all studies requiring animal housing in the SAIRF.
- A dedicated radiotherapy room was added to the SAIRF space within the WIMR vivarium in January 2019. Radioactive animals will remain in our facility until the experiment is completed and background levels of radiation have been reached. Radioactive materials can only leave the imaging facility if approved by radiation safety. Under no circumstances are radioactive animals allowed to return to their original housing facility. In approved cases, non-radioactive animals can be rehoused in an approved containment suite.
Animal Technical Support
Our skilled technicians have the capability to perform or assist with a variety of techniques.
- Injections (IV, IP, SQ, IC, RO)
- Oral gavage
- Tissue collection
- Biodistribution studies
- Blood collection
- Heme analysis (CBC, chem)
- Technique training
Other assistance also available through the BRMS Breeding Core
Contrast Agent Information
PET & radiotherapy agents
- The SAIRF does not provide radionuclide production or radiosynthesis services. The Cyclotron Research Group, located down the hall from the SAIRF, can produce many radionuclides and radiotracers on a fee-for-service basis. Ask SAIRF Staff for other radiosynthesis inquiries not provided by the Cyclotron Group.
- For 18F-FDG PET imaging studies, IBA Molecular is a contracted vendor with the UW. If a user is conducting an 18F-FDG imaging study, SAIRF staff will order directly and add the cost to the investigator bill. 18F-FDG is currently $155 for up to 10 mCi (price subject to change based on contract agreement).
- Generally, for small studies (n<6) or pilot studies, residual clinical 18F-FDG is available for pre-clinical use free-of-charge. Please contact SAIRF to inquire about this option.
- Residual clinical 124I-CLR1404 may be available for pre-clinical use free-of-charge. Please contact the SAIRF to inquire about this option.
- Some CT contrast agents may be available from the clinical imaging suite. For example, Isovue, Omnipaque, Ultravist and barium may be available free-of-charge. Please contact SAIRF Staff for inquiries.
- The following CT contrast agents are not provided by the SAIRF but can be ordered by investigators directly from the vendor: Fenestra VC, Fenestra LC, Viscover nano12000, Viscover nano6000, Microfil, Ultravist. Barium solution can also be used for intestinal imaging. Consult with the SAIRF before ordering CT contrast agents.
- The SAIRF sells 1 mL aliquots of D-luciferin, potassium salt (30mg/mL) for bioluminescence imaging. Cost is for $17.50/aliquot.
- The SAIRF can make recommendations on fluorescent tags/dyes/probes/agents but we do not provide or sell any
Contrast agent development
- The SAIRF investigators are experts in the development of cell-selective contrast agents useful for PET, CT, MRI and optical imaging.
- For contrast agent development inquiries, please contact the SAIRF director or manager.
Contrast agent injection
- At no additional cost to the hourly image acquisition rates, the SAIRF can inject contrast agents for all imaging modalities intravenously, retro-orbitally, intraperitoneally, subcutaneously, or by oral gavage
- For PET radiopharmaceuticals, the SAIRF records all injection information pertinent to quantitative analysis using this decay corrected injection form. We will provide a hard copy and/or digital version of this form for analysis.
- Injection supplies are included for imaging studies only. Typical injection supplies include needles, syringes, catheters, chux, saline, vials, gauze, tape and isoflurane.
Contrast agents are not paid for by the SAIRF.
Nuclear Medicine Imaging
- The SAIRF will operate PET/SPECT/CT scanners. In some circumstances, the SAIRF will train users to operate a scanner and other equipment necessary for image acquisition. Only trained and approved users can operate scanners. Unless specifically discussed with the investigator/researchers, the SAIRF will choose the scanning parameters most ideal for the application. The scanners are normalized and calibrated on a regular scheduled basis. Isoflurane gas anesthesia is supplied to maintain animal sedation during PET/SPECT/CT scanning only. Nuclear medicine imaging is offered on a fee-for-service basis.
IVIS Optical Imaging
- Since the IVIS is a “turn-key” piece of equipment, the SAIRF will train users how to operate the scanner. Training takes about 30 minutes. Only after training can a user operate the scanner independently. The SAIRF staff can also be available to help users with technical issues during acquisition. Although the SAIRF staff can assist with many applications and imaging logistics, it is expected that the investigator understands how optical imaging will be optimized for their specific application. Isoflurane gas anesthesia is NOT supplied for the IVIS. Users are expected to bring their own isoflurane gas and add to the reservoir how much they expect to use. IVIS optical imaging is offered on a fee-for-service basis.
- The SAIRF will operate the ultrasound and photoacoustic laser. In some circumstances, the SAIRF will train users to operate a scanner and other equipment necessary for image acquisition. Only trained and approved users can operate scanners. Unless specifically discussed with the investigator/researchers, the SAIRF will choose the scanning parameters most ideal for the application. The scanners are normalized and calibrated on a regular scheduled basis. Isoflurane gas anesthesia is supplied by the SAIRF to maintain animal sedation during imaging. Ultrasound/Photoacoustic imaging is offered on a fee-for-service basis.
Digital X-Ray and DXA Imaging
- The Faxitron is a “turn-key” piece of equipment and the SAIRF will train users how to operate the scanner. Training takes about 30 minutes. Only after training can a user operate the scanner independently. The SAIRF staff can also be available to help users with technical issues during acquisition. Although the SAIRF staff can assist with many applications and imaging logistics, it is expected that the investigator understands how digital X-Ray and DXA will be optimized for their specific application. Isoflurane is NOT supplied for the Faxitron and users are expected to bring their own isoflurane for anesthesia and add to the reservoir how much they expect to use. Digital X-Ray and DXA imaging is offered on a fee-for-service basis.
- Since the Fluobeam is a “turn-key” piece of equipment, the SAIRF will train users how to operate the scanner. Training takes about 15 minutes. Only after training can a user operate the scanner independently. The SAIRF staff can also be available to help users during acquisition. Isoflurane gas anesthesia is NOT supplied for the IVIS. Users are expected to bring their own isoflurane gas and add to the reservoir how much they expect to use. There is no fee for using the Fluobeam.
- The SAIRF will reconstruct images to most accurately fulfill the demands of the study. Per investigator request, the SAIRF staff will provide raw data to the researcher for reconstruction.
- CT data can be reconstructed with down-sampling, beam-hardening correction, Hounsfield Units, bilinear or nearest-neighbor interpolation and various filters (Ramp, Shepp-Logan, Hamming).
- There are no additional fees for image reconstruction time.
- PET data is calibrated for quantification.
- PET datasets can be reconstructed as a static image or dynamic time-binned frames using 2-dimensional filtered back projection (2DFBP), 2 and 3-dimensional ordered-subset expectation maximization (2DOSEM and 3DOSEM), OSEM3D/MAP, 3DRP and MAP TR. The following reconstruction parameters can also be manipulated:
- Scatter correction
- Projection filter (Butterworth – Order 1 and 2, Hamm, Hann, None, Parzen, Ramp, Shepp)
- Iterations/MAP iterations
Data Backup and Accessing Data
- All data is automatically backed up to the Department of Radiology network every morning at 2am.
- Access PET/CT data from the Radiology network (PDF)
- Access IVIS data from the Radiology network (PDF)
- The SAIRF will grant permissions to the investigator user folder on the radiology network.
- If an investigator has a radiology appointment they will have direct access to their data from any computer connected to the radiology network. These investigators can use their radiology login and password to access their data.
- Investigators without a radiology appointment should contact the SAIRF for a temporary login and password to access their data via the Department of Radiology network.
- For virus protection
- No thumb drives or external drives can be used in the SAIRF to access data.
- Users are not permitted to use the internet on the SAIRF scanner computers. Please bring a personal laptop for internet use.
- There are no additional fees for data backup.
Imaging Analysis Software
The SAIRF provides five dedicated analysis workstations furnished with the following imaging software which are free-of-charge to use:
|Workstation Name||What data can be analyzed on this workstation?||Software Available|
|SAIRF-AW1||PET/CT, X-ray, & fluorescence/bioluminescence/cerenkov||Inveon Research Workplace, VivoQuant, Image J, GIMP, MATLAB, Living Image, Bioptics Vision DXA|
|SAIRF-AW2||PET/CT, X-ray, & fluorescence/bioluminescence/cerenkov||Inveon Research Workplace, VivoQuant, Image J, GIMP, MATLAB, Living Image, Bioptics Vision DXA|
|SAIRF-AW3||Fluorescence/bioluminescence/cerenkov||Living Image, Bioptics Vision DXA, VivoQuant, ImageJ, GIMP, MATLAB,|
- The analysis workstations are equipped with up to 64GB of RAM, dual 3.1 GHz processors, NVIDIA Quadro 4000 graphics cards, on a 64-bit Windows 7 OS to facilitate 2-D and 3-D image viewing, manipulation and quantitative analysis of large files.
- The SAIRF can easily convert imaging data to DICOM format so investigators can perform analysis on their own workstation(s)
Image Analysis Training
- The SAIRF will train users to use the software that is provided on the analysis workstations. Due to the diversity of imaging applications, standard operating procedures for image analysis that can be applied to all studies do not exist. The SAIRF will train users how to use the tools to conduct analysis, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the investigator to know what measurements are necessary to acquire the appropriate results.
- The SAIRF does not provide quantitative imaging analysis as a service. However, image analysis training is available on a fee-for-service basis. Ask SAIRF staff about other available resources for quantitative image analysis.
Manuscript and Presentation Preparation
- Any published research which received funding from the UWCCC Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG), including the use of the SAIRF to generate or analyze data or conduct clinical trials, must acknowledge the UWCCC. See Acknowledging UWCCC in Publications, Posters and Presentations.
- Free of charge, the SAIRF can help prepare images/videos for manuscripts and presentations for SAIRF users.
- Free of charge, the SAIRF can help with data presentation for SAIRF users.
- Free of charge, the SAIRF can provide advice and/or support writing grant applications, proposals and manuscripts for SAIRF users. For example, the SAIRF can assist in writing imaging methods or outlining budget plans for imaging studies.
Equipment & Service Options
|micro Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (µSPECT) Imaging||MILabs U-SPECT/CTUHR||x|
|micro Positron Emission Tomography (µPET) Imaging||Siemens Inveon||x|
|µPET/CT Hybrid Imaging||Siemens Inveon||x|
|Gamma Counting||PerkinElmer Wizard2||x||x|
|micro Computed Tomography (µCT) Imaging||Siemens Inveon||x|
|X-Ray Imaging/DXA Scanning||UltrafocusDXA||x||x|
|Fluoroscopy Imaging||Siemens Inveon||x|
|Fluorescence Imaging||IVIS Spectrum||x||x|
|Bioluminescence Imaging||IVIS Spectrum||x||x|
|Cherenkov Imaging||IVIS Spectrum||x||x|
|Animal Irradiator||X-Rad 320||x|
|Image-Guided Animal Irradiator||SARRP||x|
|Near-infrared (NIR) Imaging||Fluoptics Fluobeam (specs)||x||x|
|Hematology Complete Blood Count & Chem Analysis||Abaxis HM5 & VS2||x||x|
|Photoacoustic (PA)/Ultrasound (US) Imaging||VevoLAZR 2100||x|
|High Frequency Ultrasound (US) Imaging||Vevo 2100||x|
|micro Magnetic Resonance Imaging (µMRI)||Varian 4.7T||x|
|Image Analysis Workstations||SAIRF-AW1, SAIRF-AW2, SAIRF-AW3 & VevoLab||x|
The Small Animal Imaging and Radiotherapy Facility (SAIRF) is a fee-for-service laboratory available to UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) members, UW investigators, and industry. Contrast agents are not paid for by the SAIRF.
Contact SAIRF Staff to request a quote for PET, CT, Optical (fluorescence/bioluminescence), Hematologic, X-Ray, DXA, Ultrasound and Photoacoustic scanning. To request a quote for MRI, contact Beth Rauch.
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