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University of Colorado Cancer Center

University of Colorado Cancer Center, A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
Optical Imaging Service | University of Colorado Cancer Center

In Vivo Optical Gene Service

The In Vivo Optical Gene Imaging Facility offers CU Cancer Center members and other investigators the tools to image biological processes in live experimental animals based on powerful, non-invasive bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging. 

We use a Xenogen IVIS200 imaging device that is specifically designed to visualize genetically labeled cells, such as tumor cells, and proteins, such as those that stimulate cancer growth in live animals. It does so by recording light emitted from the genetic labels, such as firefly luciferase, located within the animals.

Requirements for Animal Protocols:

All animal studies using the Xenogen IVIS200 must have an approved animal protocol.

Please contact Dr. Serkova or Denise Davis for all optical imaging questions.

How to use the Optical Imaging Service:

  1. Have your animal protocol approved.
  2. Arrange for instrument training with Barbara Frederick. 
  3. The campus badging office will then give you a key card to access the instrument. Barbara will assign each user group (PI) a user ID for the computer system attached to the Xenogen system.
  4. Time can be scheduled through Outlook. Follow the steps below:
  • In Microsoft Outlook, click on New in toolbar and select "Meeting Request"
  • Click on "To" box in the meeting request
  • When selecting attendees and resources, type "IVIS" for the name in the "Global Address List"
  • Select "IVIS scheduling" and click on "resources" at the bottom of the screen and hit "OK"
  • Next, click on the "Scheduling" tab
  • Select the day and time of the appointment
  • Then click on the appointment tab and click send. You can fill out the other details, if desired. You will receive an email saying your request is accepted. If the time is not available, you will be declined and you will have to select a different slot.
  • Having Trouble? Download the detailed instructions with photos.


  • Member: $69 per hour
  • D-luciferin
  • $25/ml from the facility
  • $800/gram directly from Caliper Life Science
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