The goal of the Small Animal Imaging Lab (SAIL) Core Facility is to provide state-of-the art imaging resources to Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC) members for their basic and translational preclinical studies of rodent cancer models. The SAIL has expanded its services to offer a wide array of multimodality imaging, including MRI, hyperpolarized MRI, CT, PET, SPECT, beta particle, ultrasound, bioluminescence, and fluorescence imaging. These systems allow members to follow tumor development, progression, metastasis and the response to therapy in animal models using quantitative imaging. SAIL provides detection at high spatial resolution of a number of functional, metabolic and anatomical changes, including hypoxia, pH, temporal sensitivity to cellular density, blood flow, and glucose uptake and metabolism. These parameters can be quantified using SAIL's expertise in image feature extraction and analysis to generate an integrated analysis of tumor biology in situ. Animal tumor models are critical for understanding the biology of cancer and the complex responses of distinct tumor types to therapy. Imaging of these animal subjects is a core technology that can precisely define cancer behaviors. Further, as most of these modalities provided by the SAIL are available in the clinic, results with animal tumor models can be readily translated into clinical trials and clinical practice. Multimodality imaging is the key focus of the facility as this provides a broad range of technologies that assist members with their basic and pre-clinical research programs. Over the next funding period, the Specific Aims of the SAIL Core are to:
Aim 1. Assist members in experimental design, interpretation of results, and manuscript and grant preparation.
Aim 2. Provide and expand in vivo and ex vivo imaging and analytical technologies for research involving small animal cancer models.
Aim 3. Provide training and educational opportunities regarding small animal imaging technologies and approaches for members. During the previous award period, SAIL served members from three programs and contributed to 45 publications. In the most recent fiscal year, SAIL served 21 members, with 87% of total usage by peer-review- funded members. The SAIL uses a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to consolidate usage tracking, scheduling, and billing functions. The LIMS also provides a secure repository for project and data management, which is accessible by members and their laboratory staff.
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