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University of Colorado Cancer Center

University of Colorado Cancer Center, A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

MRI/CT/PET Services

The Animal Imaging Shared Resource's Small Animal Imaging Service offers MRI, CT and PET services to CU Cancer Center member and non-members.


Our facility is fully equipped for magnetic resonance imaging and proton spectroscopy (MRI/ 1H-MRS) studies on small animals.  All 18FDG-PET  (as well as other 18F- and 124I-tracers) and bone- and soft-tissue (enhanced) CT protocols are available. All standard operating procedures (SOP) for animal imaging are in placed and approved by the IACUC. The facility is currently comprised of approximately 1,400 sq ft of laboratory space, in which are housed three imaging modalities (MRI, PET and CT), animal anesthesia equipment, one physiological monitoring system, animal warming equipment, radiation decay area and computers and data processing systems.

  • The Small Animal Imaging has been in existence since 2005.
  • The MR scanner was purchased in 2005 with support from an NIH-sponsored Shared Instrumentation grant (PI: N. Serkova).
  • The combined microPET/CT system was purchased in July 2007 from collaborative internal grant to the School of Medicine (PI: N. Serkova, supported by the Cancer Center, Depts. Radiology, Anesthesiology, the National Jewish Center as well as the Dean Office).
  • All equipment maintenance, protocol development, quality controls, as well as assistance provided to users of the resource is performed by the Dr. Serkova and Radiologist Technologist Kendra Huber (B.S., MRT).


The facility is fully equipped for all aspects of MRI, PET and CT evaluations on small animals, ex vivo specimens and vivo cell models:

  • 4.7 Tesla Bruker Pharmascan MRI/MRS scanner with 1H resonance frequency of 200 MHz, RT bore without shims 160 mm. The system is equipped with an actively shielded gradient system I (90 mm inner diameter: x,y,z with 3 mT/m/A); maximum gradient strength 300 mT/m.
  • Three volume transmitter/ receiver coils of different diameters (from 22 to 68 mm diameters).
  • Siemens Inveon microPET (field of view 12 cm allowing for one-bed position for the whole-body mouse scan).
  • Siemens Inveon microCT (to be installed in February 2008).
  • Bruker computer platform is equipped with a high-performance MR-workstation X2000 for use with Bruker MR softwares (NMR SUITE and PARAVISIONTM 3.0). The PC is configured with Intel Pentium 1.5 Hz, 1 Gbyte RAM, SCSI Controller Adaptec 29160, 73 GByte Disk, Red Hat LINUX, 20” TFT LCD monitor with graphics 1024, HP printer, Ethernet card etc. ×resolution of 1280
  • Anesthesia machines, physiological monitoring system, warming pads and fans, as well as other additional accessories are available in the animal preparation room.