A large gap exists between microscopic imaging in cultured cells and macroscopic, non-invasive or minimally invasive imaging in patients. Filling this gap holds promise for the translation of the high content information obtainable by molecular imaging in individual cells, into functional imaging amenable to clinical applications. The Preclinical Imaging Facility at IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele is part of the integrated Experimental Imaging Center (EIC – CIS).
The wide diffusion of some of the diagnostic techniques in the clinical practice, such as magnetic resonance (MRI), ultrasound (US), optical imaging (OI), computed tomography (CT) and optical coherence tomography (OCT), makes these tools a valuable translation bridge between preclinical research and clinical trials.
Its main goal is to develop and validate non-invasive or minimally invasive imaging approaches to visualize pathological processes in pre-clinical mouse models. The Facility was created on the model of technology and expertise sharing, collecting tools and skills necessary to provide a state-of-the-art service of small animal Magnetic Resonance (MRI), Ultrasound (US), Optical Imaging (OI), Computed Tomography (μCT) and Optical coherence tomography (OCT) to biomedical research groups of IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, as well as to all external researchers.
Non-invasive preclinical imaging represents an essential tool to develop a modern and translational biomedical research. From this perspective, the imaging tools included in the Facility provide a wide range of multidimensional information on tissue physiology combined with traditional anatomic images. Therefore, it is possible to functionally and structurally characterize the phenotype of mouse disease models and genetically modified mouse models, gaining insights into disease pathogenesis and development. Moreover, these preclinical imaging approaches provide the unique opportunity to perform longitudinal studies of the same animal, minimizing experimental variability and number of animals per study.
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Fee per user
|7 Tesla MRI||
Internal: 122 €
External (no profit/ for profit): 150/250 €
|MRI contrast agents||Market price|
|Vevo 2100 user operated||
Internal user: 45 €
External (no profit/ for profit): 65/100 €
|Vevo 2100 core operated||
Internal user: 72 €
External (no profit/ for profit): 104/160 €
Vevo 2100 contrast enhanced studies
|IVIS SpectrumCT user operated (2d mode only)||
Internal user: 54 €
External (no profit/ for profit): 78/120 €
|IVIS SpectrumCT core operated||
Internal user: 81 €
External (no profit/ for profit): 117/180 €
|IVIS SpectrumCT reagents||Market price|
|Retinal Fluorangiography - OCT||
Internal user: 50 €
External (no profit/ for profit): 75/120 €
|Retinal Fluorangiography - OCT core operated||
Internal user: 75 €
External (no profit/ for profit): 113/180 €
Internal user: 72 €
External (no profit/ for profit): 80/80 €
The Facility has an internal animal housing service to accommodate mice undergoing long-term follow-up with imaging. This service is managed by the central Animal Facility (dr. Enzo Oriani, dr. Sofia Ghiandoni) at a cost of 1,35€/per cage/per day.
The facility is equipped with a 7 Tesla small-bore Magnetic Resonance (MR) scanner (Bruker BioSpec® 70/30), a high-resolution digital Ultrasound system (Vevo® 2100, Visualsonic) and a small animal Optical-CT scanner (IVIS SpectrumCT®, Perkin Elmer) and a Micron IV Retinal Imaging Microscope (Phoenix Reasearch Labs), which are managed by a team of Radiologists, Technicians, Physicists and Biologists who developed a deep experience in preclinical research after a wide clinical training.
7 Tesla small-bore Magnetic Resonance (MR) scanner (Bruker BioSpec® 70/30)
High-resolution digital Ultrasound system (Vevo® 2100, Visualsonic)
Small animal Optical-CT scanner (IVIS SpectrumCT® Perkin Elmer)
This organization provides an open platform suitable for the development of tailored imaging protocols based on the specific needs of each research group. The Facility includes also two rooms for animal housing dedicated to mice and rats undergoing to longitudinal imaging experiments (about 5000 mice), connected to an animal preparation/microsurgery room. Imaging laboratories are equipped with gas anesthesia systems and physiologic monitoring that allows gated imaging.