Facilities and equipment
The phosphorimager and the cryomicrotome are housed in the IVISR. The various lasers in the BioRad FX-Pro-plus allow this unit to perform digital autoradiography by scanning storage phosphor plates or performing corresponding tissue fluorescence imaging by directly scanning the thin tissue sections at a 50-µm resolution.
The phosphor plates can store the image from radiation photons of a wide range of energies from photons to positrons. The Vibratome Model 8250 cryomicrotome is capable of slicing intact whole rodents (up to 25 cm in length) in any thickness from sub- to 40 µm.
The ability to slice the whole animal and acquire either nuclear or optical images of each slice provides not only digital autoradiography images and a means to localize reporters, but also a high-resolution 3D data set that can be used to calculate tumor burden and provide multiplanar correlation of imaging studies. The nuclear and optical data will provide validation of single photon, PET and optical images acquired in-vivo. Further, high-resolution tissue imaging provides a unique capability that may be able to localize probes at the sub-cellular level, particularly when probes carry dual radiopharmaceutical and optical reporters. Applying both high-resolution autoradiography and optical imaging of the identical animal tissue slices in conjunction with optical microscopy available through the Digital Imaging Resource may allow the discrimination of intra- and extracellular localization of new probes. If receptors or other targets are labeled with fluorescent antibodies for optical microscopy, co-localization of the reporter can be verified. Specific services include:
- Slicing an entire rat or mouse from 1 to 40 micron-thick slices for processing or imaging
- High-resolution digital autoradiographs (50 µm) of thinly sliced animals injected with radioactivity
- Direct fluorescence digital images of thinly sliced animals of a wide variety of fluorophores (Applications for BioRad FX-Pro-plus).