The Opfical Molecular Imaging and Analysis shared resource emphasizes in vivo optical imaging and spectroscopy of cancer in animal models. Molecular imaging is an essential resource for the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Institute (DCCI) to remain on the cutting edge of drug development, assessment of therapeutic response, and molecular biology. Over the past four years, this facility has provided access to the Xenogen IVIS 100 in vivo bioluminescence imaging system. This tool enables an unparalleled window into in vivo gene expression that has been of crifical importance in a number of ground-breaking, high-impact publications that would not have otherwise been possible. This resource is widely used, having served 31 users from 18 departments and divisions in the School of Medicine and the Pratt School of Engineering. This facility has been an integral part of at least major 4 funded grants, including a P01, two R01, and a DoD postdoctoral award. In addifion, it has been a significant component of 6 awards related to research excellence. Finally, over the last program period, 27 peer reviewed publications were published that utilized this resource as a major component, 26 of which were published by Cancer Institute members. The DCCI has made the decision to invest further into this resource to expand its roster of services. New services that will be added in the coming year include: (1) hand-held optical spectroscopy that is capable of non-invasively monitoring hemoglobin saturation, total Hb concentrafion (related to blood volume), redox ratio (related to oxygenation state) and backscatter factor (related to whether cells are intact or undergoing necrosis or apoptosis). This device will revolutionize the way that roufine growth delay studies are done, providing rapid insights into the underlying physiologic responses to treatment. (2) Window chamber services. Dr. Dewhirst has pioneered the use of these models for investigafion of a myriad of physiologic endpoints and for examination of reporter gene expression. This technology will be offered to the DCCI membership. (3) The IVIS 100 has been a reliable work-horse for routine luciferase imaging, but the facility will expand its capability to include NIR imaging. This will be accomplished through the purchase of a dual luciferase / NIR whole animal imaging system. This system will be placed behind a barrier animal facility to permit utilization by a wide variety of invesfigators examining everything from stem cell biology to transgenic animals. Funds to purchase this new instrumentation will be acquired via shared instrument grants and matching funds from the Dean and DCCI development funds.
Optical imaging is a rapidly growing field, enabling in vivo, longitudinal characterization of a wide range of molecular and physiologic targets. This is crifical for a number of reasons, notably: 1) the ability to dynamically monitor responses to treatments, 2) minimizing use of animals, since each ianimal can be monitored at mulfiple fime points, 3) the ability to provide rapid, quantitative endpoints.
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