Established in 2013, this facility provides preclinical in vivo molecular imaging services to the ACTREC researchers. Molecular imaging, which provides real-time visualization and quantitative measurement of cellular processes at the molecular/ genetic level, adds value for translating the basic research findings to the clinic. Several in house research laboratories are using this facility for cancer therapeutic applications.
The facility has also supported researchers from neighboring institutions like IIT-Bombay. Instrumentation in this facility procured through various extramural grants include an IVIS Lumina II and IVIS Spectrum imaging system (both from Perkin Elmer, USA), a data server, two computer terminals to store and analyse imaging data, and additional gas anesthesia systems for optimal operation and use of this facility.
The installed systems offer fast scanning of multiple mice, rats or other small animals emitting photon signal from various sources such as bioluminescence, near-infrared fluorescence and Cerenkov luminescence. Salient features of these systems include high-performance, user-friendly acquisition and fully software-controlled image capture; data back-up storage server linked through ACTREC LAN as well as onsite and remote image processing units.
The systems are integrated with a heated stage and accessories for isoflurane based gas anesthesia needed for the non-invasive scanning procedure; they provide the ability to scan and quantify fluorescent, bioluminescent as well as Cerenkov signals (around 400–900 nm) from tissue culture plates, tubes or mice.
There is an integrated fluorescence system for switching between fluorescent and bioluminescent spectral imaging. The excitation/ emission filters accommodate majority fluorescent dyes or fluorescent proteins in the green to far-red spectral range. Spectral imaging options to obtain data from a sequence of images at different wavelengths in the visible range for determining the location of bioluminescent reporter. The filters can distinguish reporters with different wavelengths coming out from the same animal. Another important feature is the laser scanner for 3D surface topography to develop single-view diffuse tomographic reconstructions (DLIT and FLIT mode).