High Frequency Ultrasound imaging is becoming a cornerstone of in vivo small animal imaging because of its ability to provide rapid and real time imaging of tissue function and structure with high resolution. The SARIC houses a dedicated small animal imaging ultrasound system (Vevo 2100, VisualSonics) equipped with phased-array transducers with a frequency range of 18 to 55 MHz. The system is designed for 2-D, 3-D, M-mode, spectral Doppler, tissue Doppler, color Doppler, and contrast ultrasound; as well as ultrasound-guided microinjection. Common applications include assessment of tissue/organ/tumor size, microvascular perfusion imaging, comprehensive echocardiography, vascular imaging, molecular imaging, and guidance of interventional procedures or microinjection.
The system is equipped with a dedicated inhaled anesthesia system with noscones for inhaled isoflurane for mouse or rat imaging. There are mouse and rat integrated physiology platforms that are heated and capable of monitoring ECG, respiratory rate, and body temperature. The railed imaging gantry is capable of x-, y-, z-adjustments in the imaging plane and co-registration of ultrasound imaging probes with microinjector systems. The system also contains an integrated motor system for elevational plane adjustments that provides 3-D reconstruction.
The imaging system has a broad frequency range with low frequencies for better penetration in rat models and contrast sensitivity, and high frequency range for better spatial resolution (30 microns spatial resolution). The system is equipped with contrast detection software and online Doppler and 2-D analysis packages. Pulsed-wave and power Doppler technologies are available for vascular imaging.