Biocontainment Animal Imaging

The Biocontainment Animal Imaging Shared Resource is led by Gregory Sempowski, PhD.  This facility is unique in that the imaging services are contained within an ABSL-2/ABSL-3 facility.  The use of in vivo imaging techniques to follow the course of infection, replication, persistence, and dissemination of pathogens in mice has provided a valuable tool to analyze the interaction between these agents and the host.  Live whole animal imaging significantly reduces the numbers of animals required for kinetic studies and allows, at terminal necropsy, for localization of specific sites of pathogen colonization.
 
Through the generous award of SERCEB (Nov. 1, 2007) we were able to purchase an IVIS Spectrum (Caliper/Xenogen) for the ABSL-3 animal facility in the RBL at Duke.  The IVIS Spectrum is a noninvasive quantitative 3D molecular imaging instrument capable of detecting transmission fluorescence, reflected fluorescence and bioluminescence.  The instrument handles a wide-range of applications for in vivo and in vitro imaging (microplates/dishes up to 5 mice or 2 rats).  The image chamber has on board temperature control, gas anesthesia and Living Images analysis software.
 
In addition to bioluminescent (luciferase) microorganisms, this technology can also be used to monitor host response through the use of Luc-reporter mouse strains where the Luc gene is linked to the promoters for critical signaling pathways such as NFkb, TNFa, IL-2, etc. (available from Caliper/Xenogen through Taconic or Jackson Labs).