Bioimaging is an essential research tool. The ability for high fidelity anatomical localization of proteins and nanodelivery agents is an indispensable component in the development of new therapeutics. Furthermore, new imaging modalities allow for a highly sensitive way of binding structure to function with high resolution in small animals. As such, we will utilize a single Core structure to house three instruments that will be utilized by investigators associated with this COBRE. Small animal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be available using two preclinical 7 Tesla MRI scanners, one Bruker Biospec 7T/21cm MRI/MRS system operating Avance III hardware and one Bruker Pharmascan system (7T/16 cm). High frequency ultrasound (up to 40 MHz) alone and combined with photoacoustic laser imaging will use the Visual Sonics 2100 and 3100 instruments equipped with the LAZR-X technology. Finally, a new state-of-the-art intravital microscopy system includes an Olympus FVMPE-RS multiphoton laser confocal microscope with 2 line lasers. The bioimaging core will be directed by three experienced senior faculty who have been associated with this COBRE for many years. The Core directors will oversee the function of each piece of instrumentation and direct technical staff. In association with Core they will monitor expenditures and recommend adjustments in user fees as necessary. Importantly, the Bioimaging Core will provide essential training to the investigators for specific uses. Given the capabilities of these instruments, it is anticipated that a wide variety of studies will take place related to nanomedicine. This includes nanoparticle biodistribution, cell tracking, hemoglobin saturation, blood flow, antibody adhesion, cardiac and vascular function, angiogenesis and live vascular and tumor imaging. Based on current grant support we estimate a continuously active Core that will grow in use. The Core will be actively engaged in the development of new imaging tools and unique ways of advancing investigators' research. A key component in the administration of this Core is insuring its sustainability beyond Phase III. Outstanding institutional support combined with adjustment of user fees will provide long-term funding.

Public Health Relevance

Non-invasive evaluation using clinically applicable imaging methods is a critical step in the translational pathway towards human use of nanomedicines. Access to experts in imaging and state-of-the-art equipment will allow for training new investigators in the use of quantitative in-vivo methodologies and the important details to be addressed when planning such experiments.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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University of Nebraska Medical Center
United States
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Weng, Lin; Boda, Sunil Kumar; Wang, Hongjun et al. (2018) Novel 3D Hybrid Nanofiber Aerogels Coupled with BMP-2 Peptides for Cranial Bone Regeneration. Adv Healthc Mater 7:e1701415