The goal of this application is to provide the investigators from University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) with a small animal photoacoustic imaging system that will afford them with the necessary means and resources to further their multidisciplinary research. The Vevo(R) LAZR, a high-resolution, photoacoustic/ultrasonic, micro-imaging system is capable of in vivo, real-time imaging of small animals such as mice and rats. MDACC is the home of a large group of NIH-funded investigators conducting fundamental studies and translational research, all with the ultimate goal of eliminating cancer. Together, these investigators cover large and complementary research territories focusing their efforts on basic science and the translation of laboratory discoveries to clinical practice. Currently, MDACC is not equipped with a system capable of photoacoustic imaging to conduct functional, physiological, and molecular imaging of small animals widely used in these studies.
The specific aim of this application is to acquire the Vevo(R) LAZR photoacoustic and ultrasonic imaging system to enable investigators to conduct basic science and applied research projects related to cancer. Overall, the principal investigator and key personnel in this application are committed to ensuring that the new photoacoustic imaging technology presented herein becomes a fruitful addition to the research tools offered at MDACC. In this application, we offer numerous NIH-funded major users who are conducting research studies that would enjoy immediate and significant benefit from the procurement of a Vevo(R) LAZR imaging system. Additionally, the imager will be incorporated into the suite of resources offered by our Small Animal Imaging Facility (SAIF), an institutional research facility partially supported by our Cancer Center Support Grant (CA16672, PI - J. Mendelsohn). New investigators - both from within MDACC and from the greater Texas Medical Center research community - will also benefit in the future from this powerful small animal imaging option.
The anatomical, functional, and molecular imaging of small animals allows scientists and engineers to understand the pathophysiological processes of human diseases using animal models. The non-invasive, real-time, high-resolution Vevo(r) LAZR photoacoustic and ultrasonic micro-imaging system can provide researchers with a method to efficiently examine extremely small physiological structures in a living animal. Specifically, at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, this system's new photoacoustic imaging capability will provide scientists with a means to investigate the pathophysiology of cancer in vivo and more effectively develop cancer diagnosis and treatment methods.