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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 Jenna Steiner for all optical imaging questions.

How to use the Optical Imaging Service:

1. Have your animal protocol approved.

2. Arrange for instrument training with Jenna Steiner, email or call 303-724-2942.

3. Register for an iLab solutions account.

To register for an account:

  • Click here to login and register
  • Login using your institution credentials
  • Upon successful authentication, you will be prompted to select your PI/lab from the pull-down list and provide your phone number.
  • Submit the completed registration form. Submission will notify your PI of your lab membership request.
  • You will be sent an email with basic instructions on using the system at this time. However, you will not be able to place orders with your new account until your PI has approved your lab membership request.

4. Instrument time must be reserved through the iLab Solutions scheduling calendar located on the CU Cancer Center Animal Imaging Shared Resource Core’s web page.

To Create an Equipment Reservation

Following the instructions listed below, you can place orders and schedule equipment time.

  • Navigate to the core page:
  • Login using your institution credentials located in the upper right.
  • Click the Schedule Equipment tab, click on Optical Imaging and then click on View Schedule button located next to the Equipment of interest.
  • Click and drag on the day and time frame of your reservation.
  • You will be asked to complete a form and provide payment information for your request before saving the reservation.
  • You may cancel a reservation any time up to the initiation point of the imaging session. Billing will reflect at minimum the amount of time reserved on the calendar or the total usage time if it was exceeded.


  • Member: $85 per hour

  • D-luciferin

  • $25/ml from the facility

  • $800/gram directly from Caliper Life Science