Kleintierbildgebung/Small Animal Imaging

Kleintierbildgebung/Small Animal Imaging

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Noninvasive, high-resolution small animal imaging systems have emerged as important tools for laboratory animal research and a variety of different modalities are available for researchers. Our facility comprises Small Animal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Micro X-ray Computed Tomography (µ-CT).

MRI and Micro CT Imaging of Zebrafish - Understand the Structure


Small Animal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)


We work with a horizontal 7.05 T Bruker PharmaScan, operating at 300,51 MHz for 1H and a gradient field strength of 760mT/m, which we use to investigate organs (heart, vessels, brain, lung, etc.) and extremities of small animals like rats, mice, newts and zebrafish. The nominal bore size of the magnet is 16 cm, with inserted gradient system and rf (radio frequency, RF) coils the maximal useable bore size amounts at the moment to 6 cm.

Using Paravision 6 for imaging and TopSpin 3.1 for high resolution spectroscopy allows us to use a 1H array cryoprobe as well as a 3He surface cryoprobe with an integrated 1H resonator. Both coils, as well as the preamplifiers are helium-cooled: Working at low temperatures of about 20 K results in an increase of sensitivity up to a factor of 2.5, a higher spatial resolution and shorter scan times. We have at our disposal three planar surface resonators (receive-only) with an inner diameter of 10, 20 and 30 mm and a transmit-only volume resonator (72 mm) for different applications with small and well defined regions of interest. Additionally volume resonators with an inner diameter of 1.3, 2.5, 3.5, and 6.0 cm are available; partially our resonators are designed and constructed at our institute.

Micro X-ray Computed Tomography (µ-CT)

This facility was established in May 2017 with the purchase of the Bruker SkyScan 1276, an in vivo X-ray microtomograph. Our µ-CT offers high spatial resolution, the ability to differentiate between different tissue densities and it allows three-dimensional visual reconstructions of tissue. The SkyScan 1276 is suitable for analysis of bones, vasculature, lung, heart, body fat and tumors of living animals like rat, mice and smaller species, but also qualifies for ex-vivo analyses.

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