Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center investigators who are writing grant applications and need descriptions of the Preclinical Imaging shared resource can find them on the Comparative Medicine CenterNet site. Descriptions of the overall Fred Hutch Shared Resources program are available on the main Shared Resources grant information page.
All publications, press releases, or other documents that cite results from CCSG-supported research must include acknowledgement of the grant and maintain compliance with NIH Public Access Policy. All manuscripts accepted for publication must be submitted to PubMed Central and be assigned a PMCID. Additionally, please reference the Research Resource Identifier (RRID). RRIDs are assigned to cores to help researchers cite key resources in the biomedical literature to improve transparency of research methods.
“This research was supported by the Preclinical Imaging Shared Resource, RRID:SCR_022616, of the Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium (P30 CA015704).”
The Preclinical Imaging shared resource provides researchers with customized animal imaging research services. The core provides investigator access to MRI, CT, ultrasound, optical imaging and microscopy technologies. Staff provide image acquisition services, image analysis consultations, research compliance resources, independent equipment use training, and study design support.
The Preclinical Imaging shared resource (PCI) advances preclinical research at Fred Hutch by providing shared access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, including MRI, CT, ultrasound, non-linear optical microscopy, bioluminescence, and fluorescence imaging equipment. This shared resource structure dramatically reduces the logistical barriers of costly equipment acquisition, allowing Fred Hutch investigators to use imaging for longitudinal and non-invasive investigation of disease progression, all while reducing the number of animals needed for their research studies. The PCI team provides image acquisition services, data analysis consultations, project design advising, IACUC protocol resources, and imaging equipment training.
PCI occupies seven dedicated imaging rooms, including one animal biosafety level 2 (ABSL-2) room, all of which are spread across two different buildings on the Fred Hutch campus. PCI is supported by the Fred Hutch/University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium Support Grant and is a key facilitator for interinstitutional imaging collaborations within the Translational Bioimaging Core. PCI maintains its operations within Fred Hutch’s Comparative Medicine shared resource, which is an AAALAC-accredited, OLAW assured, PHS compliant and USDA registered animal research facility.
PCI core equipment is as follows:
The 7 Tesla MRI (MR Solutions, MRS*DRYMAG 7.0T) is housed in a newly renovated, dedicated imaging suite. The magnetic field of the MRI can be ramped down to operate at a field strength of 3 Tesla, to provide images comparable with human clinical MRI scans. The MRI possesses advanced scan capabilities including T1, T2, Diffusion-weighted, T2*, Oxygen Enhanced, and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI scans.
Our Perkin Elmer Quantum GX2 micro-CT provides non-invasive volumetric imaging, using a microfocus X-ray source and CMOS flat panel detectors to produce high-speed, high-resolution cross-sectional images and volumetric renderings. The microCT’s cardiac and lung retrospective gating feature allows for high resolution functional and anatomical imaging.
A Zeiss LSM 7 MP multiphoton microscope is equipped with a tunable Chameleon Ultra II laser (690-1100 nm) and OPO (1080 – 1600 nm) to perform intravital two-photon fluorescence and label free imaging (SHG, THG). The microscope is equipped with two BiG non-descanned detectors, a 5x Air and 20x water objective which allow for fast intravital, multicolor, cellular resolution imaging.
A Vevo F2 ultrasound imaging system is equipped with two transducers (57 MHz, 29 MHz), and is capable of high resolution B-mode, M-mode, power doppler, 3-D, and nonlinear contrast imaging.
Four Perkin Elmer IVIS Spectrum optical imaging systems are located across two Fred Hutch buildings and four imaging rooms. These optical imaging systems perform high-throughput bioluminescence and/or fluorescence whole-body imaging, and equipped with Andor cameras. One IVIS Spectrum is housed in a dedicated imaging suite alongside the MRI to allow for coregistration MRI-IVIS imaging. A second IVIS Spectrum is housed in a dedicated room alongside the microCT to allow for coregistration CT-IVIS imaging. A third IVIS Spectrum is housed in an ABSL-2 facility, and a fourth IVIS Spectrum is housed in a room with access to a class II biosafety cabinet to allow for immediate imaging of organs excised via necropsy.
The EchoMRI utilizes the fundamental physics of MRI technology to acquire fast, noninvasive, direct measurements of total body fat, lean mass, free water and total body water mass, without any need for anesthesia.
All equipment is connected to UPS devices to ensure stability of electrical components, and all supporting equipment is regularly maintained by PCI staff and Fred Hutch Facilities & Engineering.
The PCI core harnesses well-established infrastructure throughout Fred Hutch to provide reliable investigator access to cutting edge imaging technology. Close partnership with well-established veterinary care teams, facilities and engineering staff, and data management and scientific computing experts provides excellent trans-disciplinary services to investigators at Fred Hutch.
Image acquisition services: The PCI team arranges transport for, prepares, and scans mice using an investigator’s chosen imaging modality. During imaging, PCI staff can provide additional skilled services such as contrast administration and catheter set up. All images are readily provided to researchers via a cloud storage system maintained by the Fred Hutch department of Scientific Computing.
Education, training, and data analysis services: PCI trains researchers to operate all IVIS imaging equipment, ultrasound machines, the EchoMRI, and the multiphoton microscope. Both online educational modules and in person orientations are required to ensure trainees are prepared to operate the equipment responsibly and interpret their data effectively.
PCI staff have extensive image analysis experience and provide image analysis software consultations and trainings to researchers. The core provides shared user access to licensed proprietary analysis software, and consultations for use of open-source software. Further, data analysis services are available to researchers upon request.
Animal support and IACUC protocol design: PCI staff consists of a core manager and imaging specialist, both of whom have extensive rodent handling and procedural experience and are certified by the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science at the LAT level. Additionally, access to veterinary technicians, and board-certified veterinarians is readily available for any animals in need of additional care and monitoring.
All imaging rooms have access to an isoflurane vaporizer, anesthesia induction box, scavenging systems, and heating pads for thermoregulation.
PCI staff provide draft language and templates for IACUC protocols so researchers can more easily add imaging to their protocol.
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