PIX-Subunit "Translational Optics"

The PIX-subunit "Optical Imaging" led by Prof. Dr. Christoph Bremer since 2010 was discontinued on 30.06.2017. A new PIX-subunit "Translational Optics" was established and started its services on 01.07.2017. It was headed by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Moritz Wildgruber until 31.12.2019 and is now coordinated by PD. Dr. Sven Hermann.

Optical imaging for functional and molecular in vivo diagnostics
Small animal optical imaging allows quantitative data on key diseases and therapeutic response profiles to be generated in vivo. Fluorescence imaging in the near-infrared range (700 - 900 nm), also called „optical window“, is characterized by low absorbance through oxy-and-deoxy-hemoglobin (i.e. good tissue penetration) as well as low levels of autofluorescence, yielding high contrast to noise ratios. Thus, even picomolar amounts of fluorochromes can sensitively be detected without ionizing radiation (permitting continuous or repeated exposures) so that molecular structures can be resolved in vivo using this technique. Bioluminescence imaging visualizes the light producing activity of luciferases. This method can be used to track e.g. migration and growth of cells, gene expression or protein-protein interactions. With the available imaging systems biological targets and pathways can be monitored and quantified even in deeper tissue sections. Beside the access to three state-of-the-art optical in vivo imaging methods, the core unit offers scientific expertise for experimental design and data analysis in optical imaging. 
The In-vivo Imaging Station FX PRO allows multimodal and multispectral imaging.
FRI - Fluorescence Reflectance Imager
Two fluorescence reflectance imaging (FRI) systems are available on-site for fast and convenient acquisition of 2D optical images. The In-vivo Imaging Station FX PRO (Bruker Corporation ) combines advanced multispectral fluorescence, luminescence, digital x-ray and radioisotopic imaging in a single system. In combination with a Multimodal Animal Rotation System (MARS), multi-angle images can be acquired. The IVIS Spectrum (Perkin Elmer, Inc.) allows the measurement of a wide range of fluorophores (10 excitation and 18 emission filters) and a fast bioluminescence imaging due to a sensitive camera. Thus, multichannel and multimodal imaging capabilities are available. The systems are ideal for rapid evaluation of superficially located processes such as subcutaneous tumors. In addition to in-vivo imaging, the systems are suitable for in-situ, and ex-vivo fluorescence applications, e.g. biodistribution studies.
Fluorescence mediated tomography can yield three-dimensional determination of contrast agent uptake and offers superior quantification accuracy.
FMT - Fluorescence Mediated Tomograph
In comparison to 2D techniques, fluorescence mediated tomography (FMT) offers superior quantification accuracy and can yield three-dimensional determination of contrast agent uptake. Two state-of-the-art FMT systems (Perkin Elmer, Inc.) for small animal imaging are installed in the core unit to yield 3D quantitative tomographic images of small animals. Data can be acquired at two different wavelengths: Excitation: 670 nm / Emission: 700 nm and Excitation: 745 nm / Emission: 780 nm.
 
Contrast agents
In addition to commercially available fluorescent contrast agents, the core unit offers access to different fluorescence imaging probes that were developed in cooperation with the Department of Clinical Radiology, the Department of Nuclear Medicine and the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 656 MoBil „Molecular Cardiovascular Imaging“ at the University of Münster. In detail, markers of tissue perfusion, targeted probes for imaging angiogenesis and MMP-expression are available.