Small Animal Imaging


Director: Arion Chatziioannou, PhD

Co-Director: Jason T. Lee, PhD (primary contact)

Mailing Address
Preclinical Imaging Technology Center
Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging
California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI)
2nd floor, Room 2112
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1770
(in the Court of Sciences)

Imaging Center: (310) 794-2224 
Jason Lee: (310) 825-7137
Fax: (310) 206-8975 

Preclinical Imaging Technology Center:
Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging:

Imaging Collage of Small Animals


The Crump Institute's Preclinical Imaging Technology Center provides state-of-the-art in vivo imaging technologies and related services to UCLA faculty, staff and students, as well as contract work with the non-UCLA community. The Center functions both as a shared preclinical imaging resource for researchers and laboratory facility for imaging research and technology development.

We offer full-service in vivo microPET, microCT and optical imaging and complementary in vitro/ex vivo assays to measure tissue function and structure. Companion PET tracer radiochemistry and radiolabeling services are available in-house and is supported by two on-campus cyclotron facilities. Training in imaging and staff assistance are offered regularly to all users. Study design, development and quotes are provided free of charge. Contact Dr. Jason T. Lee directly at to get started.

In Vivo Imaging Services

Nuclear imaging

  • Positron emission tomography (microPET)
    • Whole body functional imaging 
    • Extensive panel of radiolabeled small molecule PET tracers (readily available)
    • Peptide/protein radiolabeling service and workspace
    • Tissue and whole body digital autoradiography
    • Toxicology of new PET tracers for IND submission (through UCLA DLAM)
    • PET tracer cell uptake assays
  • Computed tomography (microCT)
    • Whole body anatomical imaging
    • Up to 65 micron voxel size
    • Contrast enhancement of tissues such as spleen, liver, heart, gastrointestinal, major blood vessels
  • PET tracer whole body biodistribution and dosimetry

Optical imaging (available 24/7)

  • Bioluminescence imaging (BLI)
    • Whole body, multi-animal imaging
    • Cell localization, trafficking, longitudinal studies
    • D-luciferin, coelenterazine substrates provided
  • Fluorescence imaging
    • Whole body, multi-animal imaging
    • Multiple excitation/emission filters including near-infrared

Complementary services

  • Quantitative image analysis and training
  • Image data
    • 2D slice or 3D volume rendering
    • Static or dynamic 3D video rendering
    • DICOM format and archiving
  • Radiochemistry consultation and efforts, e.g. PET tracer development
  • Pilot studies and optimization
  • Dissection, stereo microscope, and workspace
  • Cell culture and workspace


In vivo imaging

  • Genisys 8 combined microPET/CT scanner (Sofie Biosciences)
  • Inveon microPET scanner (Siemens)
  • Focus 220 microPET scanner (Concorde Microsystems)
  • microCAT II microCT scanner (Imtek)
  • In-house state-of-the-art microCT scanner (CrumpCAT)
  • IVIS Lumina II bioluminescent and fluorescent optical CCD scanner
  • Maestro fluorescent imaging system with NIR imaging and spectral unmixing (CRi)

Complementary instruments

  • Wizard 3" automatic gamma counter (Perkin Elmer)
  • Leica CM3600 XP cryomacrotome – whole body sectioning
  • Leica CM3050 cryomicrotome – tissue sectioning
  • FUJIFILM BAS-500 phosphor imaging system
  • Gilson HPLC with UV/Vis detector, Bioscan Flow-Count radiation detector and fraction collector
  • Cell culture: biosafety cabinet, cell incubator, microscope, centrifuge
  • Adams MHCT II whole blood micro-hematocrit centrifuge – blood separation
  • Microfuge 22R centrifuge (Beckman Coulter)
  • Isoflurane vaporizers, induction chambers and animal heating stations
  • Multiple BSL2-level biosafety cabinets
  • Adjacent full-service DLAM vivarium and procedure room for mice and rats


  • New investigators should contact Dr. Jason T. Lee at to discuss potential studies or for questions and advice
  • Imaging and data quality guarantee: experiments are generally performed by members of the investigator’s lab after training, with advice and assistance from the Imaging Center staff. While Drs. Lee and Chatziioannou remain actively involved as needed, Dr. Lee oversees the technical quality of all work produced by Imaging Center.
  • Animal housing facility: Adjacent to the Imaging Center is a barrier facility for housing animals before and after imaging with biosafety cabinets for animal procedures.
  • The Imaging Center is fully certified by UCLA OARO and EHS for animal, radiation, laboratory, biological (BSL2) and chemical safety procedures.





Full microPET/microCT scan with 18F-FDG or 18F-NaF $105 Animal
microPET scan (excludes probe) $40 Scan
microCT scan $21 Scan
18F-FDG and 18F-NaF (bone scan) PET probe $45 Dose
All other PET probes $112 Dose
Radiolabeling (excludes radioisotope and chelator conjugation) $692 Procedure
Optical scan (includes D-luciferin or coelenterazine) $35 Animal
Automatic gamma counter $100 Procedure
Usage of cryomacrotome, cryomicrotome, Fuji BAS phosphor imager 12 Hour
Data analysis by staff $156 Hour
Consultation and protocol development Free  

List of Available PET Tracers

PET Probe





Glycolysis (oncology, neurology, etc.)


Bone crystals

Bone scan; oncology (e.g. prostate cancer bone metastasis)


Thymidine (nucleoside)

Proliferation; nucleoside metabolism (e.g. oncology, immunology)

18F-FAC (and analogs)

Deoxycytidine (nucleoside)

Immunology (e.g. adaptive immune response; immunotherapies)
oncology (e.g. treatment stratification of nucleoside analog prodrugs)


Guanosine (nucleoside)

Immunology; oncology



Oncology (prostate cancer)


Amino acid (phenylalanine)

Neurology (dopaminergic)
oncology: brain tumors


Small molecule

Neurology (dopaminergic)

18F-FHBG, FEAU, L-FMAU, FIAU (and analogs)


Reporter gene imaging (e.g., cell trafficking and function)



Routinely for clinical imaging: neurology (e.g., Alzheimer's disease)



Oncology (prostate cancer)
fatty acid synthesis




ImmunoPET (various radioisotopes)

Full antibodies and antibody fragments

Oncology, immunology, cell surface targets


Deoxycytidine (nucleoside)

Immunology; oncology


Somatostatin analogs

Oncology (e.g., neuroendocrine tumors)


Somatostatin analogs

Oncology (e.g., neuroendocrine tumors)



Oncology (prostate cancer)



Oncology; glutamine metabolism




18F-fluorobenzyl triphenylphosphonium*



Note: *Future offers


Protein/Peptide Labeling


Prosthetic group

Peptide/protein labeling


Prosthetic group

Peptide/protein labeling




Other isotopes can be purchased from vendors for use at the Imaging Center

89-zirconium, 64-copper, 124-iodine, etc.