Bioimaging and Applied Research Core
The Bioimaging and Applied Research Core (BARC) provides state-of-the-art imaging technologies to foster multi-modality approaches to study anatomy, biology, biochemistry and pharmacology in vivo.
The Bioimaging and Applied Research Core, directed by Frank Corwin, Ph.D., offers comprehensive instrumentation and technical support for all aspects of in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical non-human anatomical and molecular imaging. Studies may be conducted on samples prepared to exhibit characteristic features for a particular imaging modality. Within the intact environment, physiological and pathophysiological activity may be observed through imaging or numerous biological pathways and interactions involved in injury and disease progression, such as traumatic brain injury, cardiac disease, tumorigenesis and therapeutic interventions.
BARC offers a wide variety of services via a traditional fee-for-service model and collaborative solutions that involve do-it-yourself imaging and data analysis and lab-expertise for hire. These models give investigators the opportunity for training and hands-on time on selected instrumentation and permit investigators to purchase tech-time from experienced staff to contribute to protocol development and optimization of new approaches. Staff can assist in experimental planning and project design.
Initiate a project
BARC offers a new business model based on a broad range of off-the-shelf, state-of-the-art services as well as the ability to develop and tailor protocols for specific research projects. To initiate a service request or to schedule a discussion about an ongoing or upcoming project please contact us.
Acknowledge the Bioimaging and Applied Core
Published work using data generated at BARC should include the following in the acknowledgment:
“The data included in this study was generated at the Bioimaging and Applied Research Core facility at Virginia Commonwealth University.”
Suggested grant language
Include the following text in the Facilities and Resources section of grant applications when proposing to conduct work that utilizes the BARC facility:
The Bioimaging and Applied Research Core laboratory (BARC) is a VCU institutionally designated shared resource providing state-of-the-art imaging technologies to support research in the life and physical sciences, with an emphasis on multi-modality imaging approaches to study structure, biology, biochemistry and pharmacology in vitro and in vivo settings.
The BARC is co-directed by Frank Corwin, Ph.D., and Sundaresan Gobalakrishnan, Ph.D., who have more than 40 years of combined experience in the field of non-invasive in vivo imaging. The BARC provides a hub for translational research, with molecular imaging equipment that supports imaging of small rodents, as well as supporting physical sciences applications such as fluid dynamics.
This shared resource facility for anatomical and molecular imaging increases the ability of investigators to translate preclinical concepts of injury and/or cancer into detection, therapy and remission in animal model systems and, ultimately, into early phase clinical trials. It further provides expertise and instruments that facilitate direct, specific and ultra-sensitive studies of molecular pathways in the in vivo environment. This developing core leverages multiple imaging technologies, combined with vendor supplied imaging probes and contrast agents, available through VCU BARC.
The BARC offers radionuclide imaging services of small animals on PET and SPECT systems, as well as CT and non-radionuclide-based imaging using multispectral fluorescence, photoacoustic and MRI/MRS technologies. The facility also provides project consultation, user training and staff assisted data analysis services.
Located on the VCU MCV campus, the BARC maintains a significant portfolio of instrumentation in support of in vitro and in vivo imaging. The state-of-the-art imaging equipment includes:
- Inveon PET/SPECT/CT multimodal imaging system (SIEMENS Preclinical Solutions)
- LFER PET/CT in-vivo animal imager (Mediso USA), capable of large field-of-view (15 cm axial, 20 cm trans-axial), whole body preclinical imaging
- Bruker Biospec 7 Tesla preclinical magnetic resonance imager system, with multinuclear capability
- Fluorescent molecular tomography imaging system (Visen Medical Inc, FMT 2500)
- Maestro-2 multispectral small animal imaging system (CRi Inc).
- Multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT) system (iThera Medical GmBH, Munich, Germany)
Commonly provided services include:
- training on the operation of the imaging modalities
- direct operations and data analysis support on the more complex modalities
- project design and implementation guidance
Additionally, BARC has immediate access to separate animal holding facilities available adjacent to the imaging suites, which are approved to house animals injected with radioactive substances. Sufficient space for housing mice and rats are available and includes cages with filter tops, laminar flow racks and biosafety cabinets to prevent the spread of infectious disease. The VCU Division of Animal Resources provides animal care 365 days a year. Veterinary consultation services are readily available, as well as training and technical services regarding surgery and blood sampling.