AND ABSTRACT University of Colorado Animal Imaging Shared Resources (AISR) is applying for funds to purchase a Bruker 9.4 Tesla/ 20 cm BioSpec MRI scanner. The major users will be 18 investigators (with major NIH and DOD funds) from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (AMC), with pending request for 5-10% of instrument time per investigator. Several minor users will be requesting an estimated 1-2% of instrument time per user. All users are supported by a total of 21 active and 6 pending R01 grants, several R21, DOD, K-, U- and P-type of awards. The requested scanner will become a part of the Colorado AISR which is substantially supported as a major Institutional Technology Core by the University of Colorado Cancer Center (UCCC, P30 CA046934-25) and the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI, UL1TR001082). The AISR was initially funded in 2006, after a successful S10 shared grant instrumentation application (PI: N. Serkova, PhD) was awarded to purchase a Bruker 4.7 T/16 cm PharmaScan, which was the first small animal imaging system in Colorado. Since 2006, state-of-the-art animal scanners, advanced physiology-based imaging protocols and novel contrast agents/ molecular probes have revolutionized pre-clinical biomedical research at the Anschutz Medical Campus, allowing for non-invasive visualization of cancer biology, physiology and metabolism in a living animal. Based on the existing scientific demand and strong institutional commitment to the AISR, the present animal imaging equipment has expanded to include a Xenogen IVIS200, a Siemens Inveon microPET/CT, and a Mediso microSPECT/CT. Since it was established in 2006, the AISR has been utilized by 124 users (with over 45 of them being MRI-users), with an impressive number of federal grants awarded to support imaging-based translational science in Colorado. Three major areas of expertise have emerged: (i) oncologic imaging; (ii) neuroscience; and (iii) molecular imaging, with various established MR protocols utilizing the existing 4.7 Tesla scanner. The eleven-year old 4.7 Tesla PharmaScan provides reliable anatomical images with spatial resolution in the range of 150 microns. However, the major limitations of the PharmaScan, besides its advanced age and soon-to-be discontinued Bruker support, include the low field strength, limited RF coils and hardware capacities (low SNR, limited in-plane resolution) which are prohibitive for high-resolution imaging, spectroscopic imaging, advanced rapid imaging techniques and imaging of new contrast mechanisms. The sensitivity and image quality from the PharmaScan is not sufficient by today's standards. Therefore, the AISR is seeking to expand the existing aging MR technology with a new 9.4 Tesla BioSpec which will be highly desirable for our users in the areas of: (i) high-resolution anatomical imaging (<75 m); (ii) EPI (fast BOLD and functional MRI); and (iii) metabolic 1H-MRS and spectroscopic imaging. In addition, fast cardiac imaging with phase-array coils are desirable. Some of these limitations can be overcome by use of microCT (improved spatial resolution), microPET/ SPECT(metabolic and molecular imaging), but the addition of high-field MRI is essential for a state-of-the-art AISR. The AISR team has assembled a strong group of NIH funded principal investigators in the areas of neuroscience, oncology and molecular imaging who are the driving force for assembling this application. The major and secondary users will be supported by a team of highly qualified translational imaging scientists, physicists, and chemists in order to form a successful platform for the development and application of high-resolution, functional, molecular and metabolic MR based protocols using the requested 9.4 Tesla Bruker BioSpec.

Public Health Relevance

This high-end instrumentation proposal seeks funds to purchase a high-field 9.4 Tesla animal magnetic resonance (MR) scanner for the Animal Imaging Core of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center (AMC). The previously NIH-funded 4.7 Tesla MRI system was the first animal scanner in the State of Colorado and has revolutionized pre-clinical cancer research at the AMC. It is being heavily used by over 45 AMC faculty and has approached its end-of-life 10-year milestone. The use of high-field MRI in Colorado will support further scientific advances in high-resolution, functional, metabolic and molecular imaging for studying oncology and neuroscience in animal models of human disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-F (31))
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Levy, Abraham
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University of Colorado Denver
Schools of Medicine
United States
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