Imaging FAQs

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One of the things the Molecular Imaging Center prides itself on is the number and diversity of participating investigators and labs throughout the University. The following is a quick FAQ on starting an in vivo bioluminescent imaging project:

> What types of animals are able to be imaged?
> What type of amendment will I need for my animal protocol?
> Where will my animals be housed in between imaging sessions?
> What is expected of me when I come to image my animals?
> How easy is it to get on the schedule?


What type of animals are able to be imaged?

The IVIS instruments measure 43 x 38 x 43 cm (W x D x H) on the interior and we welcome species that will fit within those dimensions; the maximum field of view is 12 X 12 cm. Our major throughput are mice; however, we have also successfully imaged rats, hamsters, and zebra fish.

What type of amendment will I need for my animal protocol?

Please feel free to view this document to make the appropriate changes to your animal protocol.

Where will my animals be housed in between imaging sessions?

We suggest making arrangements to house your animals in a DCM in/out facility (non-barrier facility). Contact Julie Prior for more information and DCM to discuss options and requirements for transferring animals and obtaining access. Usually the transfer form must be submitted at least one week in advance. If you will be transferring the animals yourself following the first imaging session, write in the comments section of the transfer form "PI will transfer" and you will not need to tag the cages or wait for DCM to move the animals.

What is expected of me when I come to image my animals?

Please plan to be on-site for the duration of the imaging. We will perform the actual imaging of your animals, but request that you assist so that we can be as efficient as possible and discuss experimental details with you. In general, we will plan some extra time for the first imaging session for you to get oriented with the flow of imaging as well as a quick overview of the acquisition and analysis methods. Each experiment is different and may require special attention to specific areas.  We appreciate your patience as we troubleshoot to get you optimal results. A pilot experiment with a small number of animals is a great way to get oriented and help us find the best acquisition settings.

When arriving at our lab, please weigh your animals. We deliver substrate based on weight and must have a record of their weights for each imaging day.

Our substrate delivery method is intra-peritoneal (IP) injection. We ask that all imaging collaborators be familiar with this technique and basic animal handling before arriving to image. In the situation where training is necessary, please view DCM Hands On Rodent Training Info and schedule a training session.

In some cases, animals may need to be shaved or depilated. This takes extra time and will either need to be done prior to bringing the animals or built in to the imaging schedule. Please discuss ahead of time with the staff member assisting you for the best option.

How easy is it to get on the schedule?

Our instruments are very busy almost every day. We ask that requests to image are made at least one week prior to ensure that both the collaborator and technician are able to find a common time that is good. For experiments where the collaborator would prefer to image 3-5 times per week or on very specific dates and times, the recommended request time is two weeks prior. Although we try to accommodate requests in an "emergency" situation, we are not always able to meet the request. A good guideline would be that if you are considering ordering or injecting mice, check with the imaging staff first to make sure the schedule is open or that they are not planning to be out of the laboratory.

For further information and help planning and scheduling in vivo imaging studies or for information on plate-based, live cell imaging assays, contact Julie Prior.

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