This grant application is a request to purchase a Vevo(R) LAZR scanner for high-resolution, real-time 3D photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging. The scanner will be a part of the Small Animal Imaging Facility (SAIF) at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and will be used as a shared resource by investigators from different departments across campus. The Philadelphia region is home to a large number of premier institutions of basic and translational biomedical research. We will promote the instrument and make it available to other institutions in the Philadelphia area. The Vevo(R) LAZR is a state-of-the-art dual-modality scanner that integrates photoacoustics and high- frequency ultrasound. It combines the sensitivity of optical imaging with the resolution and depth penetration of ultrasound. It is a single platform with multiple applications that include traditional modes like -scan and Doppler imaging along with more advanced applications like elasticity imaging, microvascular imaging, and oxygen saturation and hemoglobin measurements. The versatile instrument will support approximately twenty research proposals. Its operation will be managed by an experienced team with an established track record in animal and imaging research. Funding support for the Vevo(R) LAZR will further translational research in developing new diagnostic tests and therapeutic interventions for traditional and emergent needs. Access to this unique scanner for the wide research community at the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions in the region will promote interdisciplinary interactions between research groups, as well as facilitate the integration of research and education. In short, availability of the Vevo(R) LAZR will have a significant impact on ongoing and future biomedical research at the University of Pennsylvania.
Small animal models are being increasingly used to investigate human diseases. The Vevo(r) LAZR's integrated photoacoustic-ultrasound imaging will allow quantitative functional, molecular, and anatomic imaging in these animal models using a single platform. The non-invasive nature of the technique will enable longitudinal imaging, reducing the number of animal studies while providing new quantitative measurements of blood flow and other tissue parameters like elasticity and oxygen saturation. The imaging system will be useful in studying disease progression and treatments under controlled experimental conditions in animal models.