We propose to purchase a multimodality intravital imaging system (IVIS)/micro-CT scanner for the F.M. Kirby Research Center at the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI). This combined optical-micro CT scanner can perform bioluminescent and fluorescent imaging as well as spectral imaging, spectral unmixing, and 3D optical tomographic Imaging in a single integrated unit that is designed for high throughput. No such instrument is presently available at KKI and Johns Hopkins University (JHU). The proposed state-of-the-art optical-micro CT scanner is needed to address the needs of 26 animal researcher groups at the KKI and Johns Hopkins University, who presently have 27 NIH-funded projects with several aims that can strongly benefit from the improved technical capabilities provided by this equipment. The F.M. Kirby Center, which opened in 1999, provides state-of-the-art technology and unique MRI expertise to facilitate the biomedical MRI research of scientists at several institutions in Maryland and throughout the USA. Initially only for human research, the Center has undergone a large expansion with a new animal imaging center to add molecular, cellular and functional imaging facilities to its central function as a resource for KKI and JHU. The goal is to have basic research and human applications in a combined setting to promote efficient translation of the technology to the clinic. The animal imaging center has just been built and makes available state-of-the-art horizontal bore 11.7T and vertical bore 17.6T high-resolution MRI scanners in a clean facility allowing animals to be brought in from and returned to clean overnight housing at JHU. However, it is currently lacking an optical/micro-CT imaging unit that is needed for realizing the full research potential of the new center. This proposed instrumentation will provide the following benefits for the users: 1) An integrated micro-CT system that allows exact 3D anatomical co-registration of all optical images;2) An integrated animal (cradle) arm that fits straight into the horizontal bore 11.7 T MRI scanner, obviating the need of repositioning the animals. This will facilitate co-registration of optical and CT images with MRI, expanding our imaging toolbox to three modalities;and 3) Housed within a clean facility but not behind a barrier, the proposed instrument will allow repeated imaging of animals that are transported back and forward to and from specialized laboratories, e.g. for electrophysiological measurements and microsurgeries.
We propose to purchase a new animal scanner that produces optical images based on fluorescence and bioluminescence, as well as 3D radiographic images through computed tomography (CT). The combined optical/micro-CT scanner will become part of an existing animal MR imaging facility and benefit 27 NIH funded projects that will use the new scanner to interrogate biological events in a non-invasive manner for research into multiple diseases, including cancer, stroke, brain injury, schizophrenia, and diabetes.
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