Small Animal Imaging

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Director: Arion Chatziioannou, PhD
ArChatziioann@mednet.ucla.edu

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; micropet@mednet.ucla.edu
Arion Chatziioannou: (310) 825-7877

Preclinical Imaging Technology Center: https://imaging.crump.ucla.edu/
Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging: https://www.crump.ucla.edu/

Overview

The Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource (SAISR) provides state-of-the-art in vivo imaging technologies and related diagnostic and radio-therapeutic services to JCCC and UCLA faculty, staff and students. The SAISR is a world-class, first-of-its-kind small animal imaging technology development and shared resources facility, providing JCCC investigators with technical imaging expertise and facilitating the design, execution and analysis of in vivo small animal imaging studies.

Our aims are:

  1. To provide and develop state-of-the-art small animal imaging technologies to address the evolving needs of JCCC researchers.
  2. To provide radiochemistry and radiolabeling services to support production of established PET tracers or development of novel tracers for investigator imaging studies.
  3. To support and train JCCC investigators in radiochemistry, preclinical imaging, and image analysis.

The SAISR offers full-service whole body 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 through the adjacent radiochemistry and cyclotron facility. Study design and development, training in imaging techniques, and staff assistance are offered regularly to all users free of charge. Please contact the SAISR at micropet@mednet.ucla.edu to get started.

Imaging Collage of Small Animals

In Vivo Imaging Services

Nuclear imaging

  • Positron emission tomography (microPET)
    • Static and dynamic whole body functional imaging
    • Extensive panel of radiolabeled small molecule PET tracers (readily available)
    • Peptide/protein radiolabeling service and workspace
  • Computed tomography (microCT)
    • Whole body anatomical imaging
    • Quick scan time for in vivo imaging (1-2min)
    • Down to 25 µm (specimen imaging) and 75 µm (in vivo imaging) resolution
    • Contrast enhancement of soft tissues such as lymph nodes, spleen, liver, heart, gastrointestinal, major blood vessels

Optical imaging

  • Bioluminescence, Fluorescence and Cerenkov imaging
  • Whole body, multi-animal imaging
  • Cell localization, target trafficking, longitudinal studies
  • BLI: D-luciferin substrate provided
  • FLI: multiple excitation/emission filters including near-infrared

Complementary services

  • Routine productions of established PET tracers
  • Novel PET tracer consultation and development
  • Biologics radiolabeling
  • Toxicology of new PET tracers for IND submission (through UCLA DLAM)
  • Imaging-based pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics studies
  • Radiotherapeutic labeling (e.g. Lu-177, Y-90) and efficacy studies
  • PET tracer whole body biodistribution and dosimetry
  • PET tracer metabolite analysis
  • In vivo and ex vivo biodistribution studies of imaging agents
  • In vitro binding and uptake assays (e.g. radiolabeled PET tracers; fluorescent biomarkers)
  • In vitro and ex vivo (tissue or whole body) autoradiography
  • Quantitative image analysis and training
  • Image data processing and 2D slice or 3D volume renderings
  • DICOM formatting and archiving

Equipment

In vivo imaging

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

Radiochemistry and Radiolabeling

  • Siemens RDS-111 cyclotron
  • multiple Sofie Biosciences ELIXYS FLEX/CHEM automated radiosynthesizers
  • Raytest Ginastar radio-TLC reader
  • multiple Knauer Smartline HPLC systems with Bioscan gamma detectors
  • multiple Capintec CRC-25 PET dose calibrators
  • Agilent gas chromatograph with mass spec detector
  • Iodination chamber
  • Cerenkov imaging system

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
  • Agilent 1100 HPLC with UV/Vis detector, Bioscan Flow-Count radiation detector and fraction collector
  • Cell culture facility: biosafety cabinet, incubator, microscope, centrifuge
  • Adams MHCT II whole blood micro-hematocrit centrifuge – blood separation
  • Microfuge 22R centrifuge (Beckman Coulter)
  • Isoflurane vaporizers, induction chambers, nose cones, and animal heating stations
  • Multiple BSL2-level biosafety cabinets and chemical fume hoods
  • Adjacent full-service DLAM vivarium and procedure room for mice and rats (through DLAM)

Operations

  • New investigators can contact the SAISR at micropet@mednet.ucla.edu to discuss potential studies, experimental design, data analysis, and for questions or advice
  • After training, JCCC researchers can readily use the SAISR through secure keycard access around the clock
  • Experiments are generally performed by members of the investigator’s lab after SAISR training, with expertise and assistance from the SAISR faculty and staff
  • Animal housing facility: Adjacent to the Imaging Center is a barrier facility for housing animals before and after imaging with biosafety cabinets for procedures
  • The Imaging Center is fully certified by UCLA’s Office of Animal Research Oversight (OARO) and Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) for animal welfare and radiation, laboratory, biological and chemical safety procedures

Pricing

SERVICE

JCCC RATE

PER UNIT

Full microPET/microCT scan with 18F-FDG or 18F-NaF $133 Animal
microPET scan (excludes probe) $44 Scan
microCT scan $24 Scan
Optical imaging (includes D-luciferin)

$151

Hour
[18F]FDG PET tracer
$45
Hour
[18F]NaF PET tracer No charge
 
All other PET probes $124 Injected dose
Radiolabeling (not including chelator conjugation and radioisotope) $628 Procedure
Basic radiochemistry (not including isotope) $906 Batch
Complex radiochemistry (not including isotope) $1,120 Batch
Usage of gamma counter, cryomacrotome, cryomicrotome, Fuji BAS phosphor imager, procedure workspace, et. $22 Hour
Imaging staff assistance $69 Hour
Radiochemistry staff assistance
$87
 Hour
Consultation and protocol development No charge
 

List of Available PET Tracers

PET Probe

TYPE

BIOLOGICAL APPLICATION

[18F]FDG

Glucose

Glycolysis (oncology, neurology, etc.)

[18F]NaF

Hydroxyapatite

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

[18F]FLT

Thymidine (nucleoside analog)

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

[18F]FAC (and analogs)

Deoxycytidine (nucleoside analog)

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

[18F]clofarabine Purine (nucleoside analog
Immunology; oncology

[18F]AraG

Guanosine (nucleoside analog)

Immunology; oncology

[18F]FHBG, FEAU, L-FMAU, FIAU (and analogs)
Guanosine (nucieoside analog)
Immunology; oncology

[18F]FDHT

Testosterone

Oncology (prostate cancer)

[18F]FDOPA

Amino acid (phenylalanine)

Neuroscience (dopaminergic) oncology: brain tumors

[18F]fallypride

Dopamine receptor antagonist

Neuroscience (dopaminergic)

[18F]FDDNP

Ammonia

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

[11C]acetate

Acetate

Oncology (prostate cancer)
fatty acid synthesis

ImmunoPET (various radioisotopes)

Full antibodies and antibody fragments

Oncology, immunology, cell surface targets

[68Ga]DOTA-TOC

Somatostatin analogs

Oncology (e.g., neuroendocrine tumors)

[68Ga]DOTA-NOC

Somatostatin analogs

Oncology (e.g., neuroendocrine tumors)

[11C]choline

Choline

Oncology (prostate cancer)

[11C]L-glutamine

Glutamine

Oncology; glutamine metabolism

[18F]fluorobenzyl triphenylphosphonium  ([18F]FBnTP)

Mitohondrial membrane potential

Oncology

[18F]florbetaben Amyloid
Neuroscience

 

Protein/Peptide Labeling

[18F]SFB

Prosthetic group

Peptide/protein labeling

[18F]FBAM

Prosthetic group

Peptide/protein labeling

[18F]FBEM Prosthetic group
Peptide/protein labeling
[18F]fluorobenzaldehyde Prosthetic group
Peptide/protein labeling
[18F]fluoroethyl-PEG3-azide Prosthetic group
Peptide/protein labeling

 

 

 

Other isotopes can be purchased from external groups for use at the SAISR

Imaging

89-zirconium (89Zr) – 3D Imaging; Washington University St Louis

64-copper (64Cu) – Washington University St Louis

86-yttrium (86Y) – Washington University St Louis

124-iodine (124I) – 3D Imaging

 

Radiotherapy

177-lutetium (177Lu) – Oak Ridge National Laboratory

90-yttrium (90Y) – Perkin Elmer

111-indium (111In) – Nordion

125-iodine (126I) – Perkin Elmer

131-iodine (131I) – Perkin Elmer