Preclinical Imaging Core (PIC)

Lisa Lemen, PhD

The Core was established to provide non-invasive multimodal imaging capabilities optimized for rodent imaging to the UC research community. The facility specializes in micro-CT and micro-PET/SPECT for longitudinal research projects in small animal models, but also provides bioluminescence, fluorescence and planar x-ray imaging capabilites. A XenX cabinet irradiator is available for cell, focal, and whole-rodent irradiation. The Core actively supports research in cancer and other progressive diseases, and a variety of surgical and bioengineering projects. 

To access services from the PIC, please login or create an account in Stratocore at

Location and Hours:
Vontz Center Rm 0330 (basement- restricted access - call lab 558-7930)
M-F  8:30am-5pm; or as arranged

Announcement Jan 2023
The Bruker 9.4T small animal MRI in MSB 4106 is now being manged through the PIC. It is a vertical bore spectrometer with a gradient insert for imaging,  The system is currently optimized for mouse brain imaging. Please contact the lab for further information. 

Announcement Jan 2019
A XenX closed cabinet x-ray irradiator with a rotational gantry, designed for irradiation of cells and rodents is now available.  Please contact the lab or Michael Lamba (584-9028, for further information.

Announcement  Sept 2018
Bioluminescence and Fluorescence imaging services are available to PIs within the UC-COM LAMS mouse facilities – mice housed in the LAMS Vontz and MSB facilities remain behind the barrier for their imaging sessions and are returned to their original rooms. Please contact the lab for further information. 

  • PET/CT/SPECT imaging

    1. Standard Imaging services for small animals, with contrast agents and radiopharmaceuticals supplied as a pass-through charge
    a. Micro CT – in-vivo and ex-vivo imaging; specialized CT contrast agents 
    b. Micro SPECT with standard clinical tracers
    c. Micro PET with 18F-FDG
    d. co-registered modalities
    e. includes protocol-specific calibrations

    2.Advanced Imaging Services
    a.Respiratory or cardiac-gated CT
    b.Micro PET & SPECT with novel tracers


    $225 per hour

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  • Optical imaging (BLI, FLR) and x-ray

    1. Standard Imaging services for small animals, with agents supplied either by PI or as a pass-through charge
    a. Bioluminescence (BLI)  
    b. Fluorescence (FLR)
    c. visual (white-light)
    d. planar x-ray 
    e. co-registered modalities
    f. includes protocol-specific calibrations

    2. Advanced imaging services
    a. Mouse femur bone densitometry studies


    $125 per hour (Vontz); $135 per hour (MSB)

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  • Investigator self processing

    Investigator use of image processing workstations and software.
    Basic instructions provided by lab personnel.  


    $30 per hour

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  • Image and Data post-processing

    Image post-processing by PIC personnel:
    1. basic tasks: data transfer; cropping; volumetrics; 
    2. advanced analysis: bone densitometry; pharmacokinetics; 


    $80 per hour

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  • Radiopharmaceuticals and specialized contrast agents



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  • Irradiations

    1. Standard irradiation services, including cell, mouse whole-body, and mouse flank xenograph irradiations are provided through the Core. Please contact the lab (558-7930) for information and scheduling.

    2. Complex or unusual irradiations, such as orthotopic or highly focal irradiations can be developed specific to your application. These services must be coordinated with Dr. Michael Lamba (584-9028, prior to scheduling.


    $60 per hour + therapy physics support

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  • Inveon PET/SPECT/CT

    Tri-modal micro-imaging system with LSO-based positron emission tomography (micro-PET), dual-head single photon emission computed tomography (micro-SPECT), and cone-beam computerized tomography (micro-CT) sub-systems.
    a) Bore size = 12 cm; max FOV = 10cm.

    Integrated Biovet monitoring system: respiratory, EKG, temperature control; heating pad on pallet
    Isoflurane anesthesia

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  • Bruker multi-spectral FX PRO

    Bioluminescence, fluorescence, x-ray, and optical imaging in small animals. Located in the Vontz LAMS facility.

    a) 20 - 200 mm FOV (images up to 5 mice simultaneously)
    b) warm-air chamber with isoflurane anesthesia manifolds
    c) excitation filters: 390nm to 770nm in 20nm steps 
    d) emission filters: 535nm, 600 nm, 700nm, 750nm, 790nm, 830nm

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  • Xen-X Irradiator

    Closed cabinet x-ray irradiator with a rotational gantry, designed for irradiation of cells and rodents. Provides both whole-body irradiation for myelosuppression, and focal irradiation similar to current clinical radiotherapy approaches.  A portal imaging camera provides verification of the beam localization.

    • (
    • 50 – 220 kV x-rays
    • Mounted on isocentric arm with 35 cm source-to-isocenter distance
    • 3 mm round to 10 cm x 10 cm fields at standard distance, larger at extended distances
    • Point dose calculator
    • 0.69 mm Cu HVL treatment x-rays

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  • Perkin-Elmer IVIS Spectrum

     Bioluminescence, fluorescence, and optical imaging in mice. 
    Located in the MSB LAMS facility. 

    Request Information
  • Bruker 9.4T MRI

    High-field spectrometer with gradient insert and Paravision 5.1 software interface for MR imaging of mice, particularly mouse brains.
    a) 89mm bore size

    Request Information