In vivo imaging of small animals, such as mice, makes it possible to expand and to verify results obtained at a cellular level in a system (the whole animal) where supracellular interactions occur. Biologically, interactions can be followed in this way in time and space at the level of the whole organism. This has major benefits for both basic research and pre-clinical studies. Furthermore, since it is non-invasive, it allows assessment of the same animal at different time points and in this way accelerates research and reduces the number of animals employed in the study.
Two imaging technologies are available:
- In Vivo Imaging of fluorescence and bioluminescence:
An IVIS Spectrum instrument is available. This instrument makes it possible to carry out non-invasive longitudinal monitoring of bioluminescent and fluorescent reporters in anaesthetised mice.
- Ultrasound Imaging:A Visual Sonic VEVO 770 instrument is available. This instrument allows non-invasive longitudinal visualisation and quantification in small animals (mice and rats) of anatomical targets as well as hemodynamics.
Metabolism and animal physiology are investigated with the following techniques:
Assessment of metabolism is carried out both in vitro and in vivo. There is a need to extrapolate observations obtained at a cellular level to the whole animal and vice versa. Biological phenomena have to be followed at different levels of complexity in order to appreciate fully their values and implications.
- CLAMS (Columbus Instruments’ Comprehensive Lab Animal Monitoring System): The Clams is an integrated indirect calorimetry system for resting metabolic studies of small animals. It allows accurate measurement of energy expenditure and respiratory quotient or respiratory exchange ratio in order to deduce a metabolic rate for the animal under study.
- Seahorse bioscience XF24 analyser: This instrument simultaneously measures mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis in cultured cells.
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