The goal of this proposal is to secure funding to add an IVIS Spectrum optical imaging system to the Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging, a core facility at UC Davis that provides the infrastructure and expertise to conduct in vivo imaging studies in animal models. The IVIS Spectrum (Caliper Life Sciences) will be used for in vivo imaging studies of cells and tissues carrying luciferase or fluorescent reporter genes, and animals injected with fluorescent imaging agents or radiopharmaceuticals, the latter being studied by the emission of Cerenkov light. The IVIS Spectrum system can be used in both reflectance and transmission mode and includes a highly sensitive back-thinned, back-illuminated grade 1 CCD camera, a broad band excitation source with filters for fluorescence measurements, selectable filters for multispectral detection, a heated enclosure with anesthesia supply, and software to control data acquisition, for spectral unmixing, 3-D signal localization and quantification, and image display and analysis. The system will be placed in our core facility and used to support and aid NIH-funded research in diverse areas such as cancer, atherosclerosis, wound healing, and inflammation, and in a large body of research to evaluate targeted molecular imaging probe and therapeutic development, as well as drug delivery technologies. The system also will serve as the platform for further development and application of novel Cerenkov imaging techniques being developed at our institution. In summary, this system will directly support the development of new targeted diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, as well as to characterize and better understand the molecular and biochemical basis of normal and diseased tissue in animal models of human disease.
The field of molecular imaging seeks to discover new approaches to imaging specific biologic targets and pathways in vivo, with the ultimate goal of providing patient-specific and molecularly-based diagnostic information. In addition, molecular imaging approaches are being developed to directly monitor molecularly targeted therapies, cellular therapies and gene therapies. The proposed IVIS Spectrum instrument will be used to study the spatial and temporal distribution of fluorescent molecules, particles, and optical (bioluminescent and fluorescent) reporter proteins in the whole animal. This provides a powerful platform for characterizing animal disease models and non-invasively determining the efficacy of new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in preclinical models prior to translation to the clinic.