We request funds to purchase a Scanco viva MicroCT model 40, a devise which makes it possible to scan live small animals with the purpose of imaging organs, evaluate heart function, quantify trabecular and cortical bone and obtain information about bone structure. It also allows rapid and accurate measurements of histomorphometric indices of bone volume, connectivity and structure. This instrument will be utilized by 7 major users [Drs. R. Pacifici (P.I.), G. Beck, L.W.K. Chung, M.S. Nanes, Dr. H. Shim M.N. Weitzmann, W. Lewis, who are PI for 7 RO-1s and 1 P0-1, 1 P20, 1 P50 and 1 VA merit grant, and run research programs, on bone, HIV- AIDS, nanoparticles, and cancer at Emory University. In addition, there will be 2 minor users, Drs. D. Durden, and M. Goodman who are P1 of 1 ro1, 1 P50 and a R56 grants, and have interests in oncology. Dr. Robert Guldberg, a collaborator of the P.I. and an expert on MicroCT will be in charge of the maintenance and operations of the instrument. Dr. Pacifici will utilize microCT in studies on the role of T cells in the mechanism of action of PTH and estrogen. Dr. Chung will utilize the microCT to study bone metastasis, Dr. Nanes will use microCT to determine the mechanism by which TNF blocks bone formation. Dr. Shim will utilize the microCT to visualize tumor growth, Dr. Beck and Weitzmann will be aided in their studies on the effects of nanoparticles in bone. Dr. Lewis will use microCT to assess heart function in mice treated with HIV drugs. Dr. Durden will study the effects of PI-3 kinase inhibitors on brain tumors. Dr. Goodman will utilize the microCT to visualize brain tumors. In vivo MicroCT will facilitate each of these projects as it will complement and/or substitute in vitro microCT and bone histomorphometry, and 2D echo for heart function analysis. The advantages of having a microCT are several. 1) It would make possible to expand the planned studies with in vivo data about bone structure, a capability which is currently not on hand. 2) The greater sensitivity and precision of microCT over other methods would results in increased group separation and thus increased ability to interpret the data in a conclusive manner. 3) In some cases it may be possible to decrease the duration of the studies or the sample size with considerable financial savings. 4) We would be able to conduct our studies at a much faster pace. 5) The increased capability of in vivo microCT would provide additional opportunity for collaborations, training of new investigators and opening new fields of research.
Access to an in vivo microCT would allow researchers into causes and cures for osteoporosis and other bone disorders, to expand their studies with data about bone structure from live animals, gain access to greater sensitivity and precision which would results in increased group separation and conclusive interpretation, decrease the duration of studies or the sample size with considerable financial savings, improve the ability to conduct studies at a much faster pace, add additional opportunity for collaborations and training of new investigators which may open new fields of research.
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