Mouse Imaging Program

The Mouse Imaging Program (MIP) at the Center for Systems Biology is a uniquely integrated imaging resource providing the larger Harvard/MIT research community with access to state-of-the-art in vivo imaging technologies. 

The program offers magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET-CT), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT-CT), computed tomography (CT), bioluminescence (BLI), fluorescence mediated tomography (FMT), and various other fluorescence imaging technologies. The fully integrated program also provides mouse holding facilities for serial imaging, surgery, anesthesia and veterinary care. Image reconstruction, 3D display, fusion, quantitative image analysis and online data access are also available. The program performs its own research, aimed at continuously improving existing imaging technologies and has a deep knowledge of cardiovascular, oncology and neurological mouse models of disease. 

A list of publications made possible by utilizing MIP resources is available on the Program Website

Imaging requests may be submitted through the MIP Website.

Personnel/Contact Information:

Business Manager : Dianne Moschella 
Phone: (617) 643-3220
Fax: (617) 643-6133

Facilities and Equipment:

Location of Core:
The Core is located on the 8th Floor of the Simches Research Building.

Major Equipment:
4.7T Bruker Pharmascan MRI
7T Bruker Pharmascan MRI
Siemens InVeon PET-CT
Gamma Medica X-SPECT
Perkin-Elmer FMT2500 (fluorescent tomography)
Perkin-Elmer IVIS100 (bioluminescence imaging)
Olympus OV110 (fluorescent reflectance microscopy)
Olympus IV110 (in vivo confocal microscopy)
Olympus Nanozoomer slide scanner


Animal Housing Service
Under the oversight of the Center for Comparative Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Program provides mouse housing for serial imaging studies, including housing of BL2 and radioactive animals. Additionally, the Programs mouse rooms allow for bypass of MGH quarantine, thus expediting the start of research projects. The housing rooms are monitored daily by MGH veterinary and husbandry support staffs.

Animal Surgical Services
The MIP Core provides surgical services associated with research projects. Services include drug dosing, routine injections, tumor implantations, blood collection and post mortum tissue collection. Additionally, the Core can execute complex surgical procedures, such as surgically-induced myocardial infarctions, tissue isolation for imaging and window chamber implantations. All surgeries are performed in the Cores surgical suite, which is fully equipped for anesthesia, surgical monitoring and recovery.

4.7T/7T MRI
The MRI facility within MIP provides high-resolution/high-throughput imaging, using tailored MRI pulse sequences and dedicated RF coils to optimize Signal-to-Noise ratios. Physiological monitoring including maintenance of body temperature, cardiac and respiratory gating systems are utilized. The magnets provide state-of-the-art high resolution anatomical and functional imaging of various models in cardiovascular, oncology and neuro-research settings, allowing investigations into new molecularly targeted MRI imaging agents.

In conjunction with the Program's Radiochemistry platform, PET-CT allows for investigations into novel PET imaging agents in the setting of oncology and cardiovascular diseases. Contrast-enhanced imaging facilitates high-resolution anatomical localization of these agents. Dynamic PET-scans, ranging as long as 3 hours, are available to study biodistribution in vivo.

The Radiochemistry Platform is available to assist in the preparation of novel PET imaging agents through coupling reactions to PET radioisotopes.

Fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) allows for detection of fluorescently-labeled cells or agents in vivo using any combination of 4 imaging channels (635/655nm, 680/700nm, 750/780nm, 718/815nm). FMT imaging is typically combined with MRI or CT imaging to create a fused dataset, allowing for anatomical coregistration.

The IVIS100 bioluminescence imaging system allows for imaging of up to 5 mice at one time.

In vivo Confocal Microscopy
The Olympus IV110 system allows for cellular resolution imaging of fluorescent agents and cells in vivo.

The Histopathology Platform provides robust ex vivo sectioning, staining and analysis of tissue samples. An Olympus Nanozoomer system allows for digitization of histological slides for detailed quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Quantitative Image Analysis and Processing
Advanced image analysis and processing is available for all projects. We utilize Amira, OsiriX, as well as custom developed Matlab code and other image analysis tools to quantify imaging data.

Multimodality Imaging and Image Fusion
The MIP imaging core has developed robust methods for utilizing and fusing multimodality image datasets. Through the use of fiducial markers and fusion software (OsiriX and Amira), we can create PET-MRI, FMT-CT, FMT-PET-MRI and other fused datasets both for data analysis as well as publication figures.

SPECT imaging, with or without high-resolution CT scanning, is often used to track radiolabeled cells in vivo in models of cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases and oncology.

Data Management
The MIPortal is an information technology (IT) platform for experimental imaging and is designed to provide researchers with access to archiving and processing of imaging and non-imaging data. Using the tool, DICOM and non-DICOM modalities can be organized, archived, stored and made available via a web browser.

Getting Started:

To access the core, please contact Greg Wojtkiewicz, or visit the Core's website and complete the new project application form:

Departmental Web Link: