Modalities Available for Imaging Research 

  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • Computed Tomography (CT)
  • Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)
  • Planar Gamma Scintigraphy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • X-Ray 
  • Bioluminescence/Fluorescence Imaging
  • High Frequency Ultrasound
  • Image-Guided Targeted Radiation

Project Consultation 
Prior to scheduling, all projects are discussed to assure the imaging experiments, have the highest probability of achieving success. In the event sufficient imaging or scientific expertise is not available, that expertise is brought in from the SAIC advisory committee or other imaging experts at the University of Iowa.

Protocol Development
If required, SAIC staff will assist investigators in developing the necessary protocols needed to perform studies within the facility.

Budgeting Assistance
Before any studies commence, costs associated with each aspect of the project are clearly defined. SAIC rates can be found under the New Proposals tab. 

SAIC staff will work with Investigators to determine an overall imaging schedule that will best fit with the Investigators timetable.

Pre-imaging Animal Prep
Prior to the day of imaging, a SAIC staff member will contact the investigator with instructions regarding pre-imaging preparation (i.e. dietary restrictions, drug therapies, etc.). Any surgeries will be the responsibility of the investigator.

Physiological Monitoring 
Depending on the needs of investigators and the proposed studies, physiological monitoring may be required. Any need for physiological monitoring should be discussed during the protocol consultation and development stages of the project.

Ex-vivo and Materials Imaging 
Options are available to image biological specimens and non-biological materials. Please consult SAIC staff for details.

Imaging and Reconstruction
SAIC personnel will be responsible for image acquisition and reconstruction for microPET, microCT and microSPECT. SAIC archives all image data on site in their 12 TB RAID-5 PACS system. Image data is redundantly stored off-site at the University's large-scale storage.

Funding for Pilot Studies
Pilot funding is available for small proof-of-principle imaging projects. A small proposal is required to apply for these funds and the data acquired must be used in support of grant applications that will utilize SAIC resources if the proposal is awarded to the investigator. Pilot proposals are submitted to the SAIC. The SAIC distributes the pilot proposal to relevant experts who review the feasibility of the project and determine if pilot funds should be awarded to the investigator.

Regulatory Approval Assistance
Prior to imaging, all projects must have necessary regulatory approvals, including an approved Animal ProtocolHazard Containment Protocol, and Radiation Use Approval. Staff routinely provide guidance to investigators on a fee-for-service basis if protocol development is required by the investigator.  Assistance with these regulatory stages should be discussed during the protocol consultation phase of the project.

Image Processing and Data Analysis
In consultation with the Investigator, preliminary data analysis is performed by the SAIC image processing experts. Following this approach assures the analysis method is both correct and robust for the imaging application. Once the analysis method is standardized for the application, the investigator or their staff are instructed in the use of the workstations and analysis software.