Core facilities

Preclinical Imaging



Antonio Esposito


The main goal of the Preclinical Imaging Facility 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),Radioherapy (RT), Computed Tomography (μCT) and Optical coherence tomography (OCT) to biomedical research groups of OSR, as well as to all external researchers. Moreover, the Facility is equipped with a state of the art image guided small animal irradiator, which allows to mimic all aspects of radiotherapy (RT) treatment in small animal models. Using this technology we can assess the response of tumours and normal tissues to different RT or combined therapeutic strategies. In addition, tailored image analysis and post processing techniques are developed in order to extract data and features from images.


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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