Endra Life Sciences out of Ann Arbor, MI is releasing a photoacoustic computed tomography (CT) scanner, Nexus 128, for routine use in small animal laboratory imaging. Photoacoustic CT combines the sensitivity of optical imaging with the resolution of ultrasound, and does not require the use of contrast agents. It penetrates deeper through biological tissues than other high-resolution 3-D imaging modalities such as confocal microscopy, two-photon microscopy, and optical coherence tomography (OCT). The Nexus system is designed to minimize animal preparation and positioning, and has been showed to image cancerous blood vessels and hemoglobin concentration in less than 2 minutes, and to complete volumetric anatomical scans in as little as 12 seconds.
How photoacoustic CT can be useful in small animal studies:
“Mouse models of cancer are used extensively to study tumor development and the effects of new therapies, but until now the tools to measure this effect have had depth limitations,” said Dr. Rakesh Jain, Director, Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at Harvard Medical School, and Enlight Biosciences Advisor. “The ability to track abnormal vessel growth and normalization in vivo with high resolution throughout a tumor mass during therapeutic intervention is a powerful new capability that will be widely used in cancer research.”
The simplified animal handling and high throughput has allowed researchers at Purdue University to image entire study groups within a couple of hours.
Press release: Endra Life Sciences Launches First Ever Commercial Photoacoustic 3-D Tomographic Imaging System…
Poster: In Vivo Molecular Imaging Applications of Volume PhotoacousticTomography for Small Animals (.pdf)