The UPMC Hillman Cancer Center In Vivo Imaging Facility (IVIF) preclinical optical imaging service provides expertise and equipment that enable researchers to efficiently answer research questions related to in vivo events in small animal rodent models. Optical imaging uses bioluminescence and fluorescence to measure and characterize real-time molecular events in vivo, and can measure multiple events simultaneously within the same host. Optical imaging also enables short imaging times and simultaneous imaging of multiple animals (up to 5) for more rapid screening, and can provide important pre-clinical information that can augment data from other imaging modalities (e.g., PET/CT and MRI).
The IVIF preclinical optical imaging service is equipped with state-of-the-art bioluminescence and fluorescence, fluorescence tomographic, and bioluminescence/fluorescence/X-ray imaging systems. It is available for use by UPCI, University of Pittsburgh, and non-university investigators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Consultation is provided for investigators to define the best model(s) and imaging modality(ies) to achieve their experimental goals. Personnel provide hands-on training and technical support for users of the imaging platforms and the associated anesthesia equipment.
The IVIF preclinical optical imaging service also offers various reagents for imaging experiments, including several transgenic mouse models that universally express luciferase or green fluorescent protein (GFP) from all tissues (including all hematopoietic lineages); a variety of luciferase or fluorescent protein-labeled tumor cell lines for in vivo modeling; and retroviral- and plasmid-based constructs (and protocols) to generate cell lines that stably express luciferase or fluorescent proteins.