IVIS Live Imaging

IVIS Spectrum CT at WSU

M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust

The IVIS advanced imaging system was provided to the WSU research community by a generous grant from M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust.  This donation will provide our researchers with a valuable tool, providing us with previously unavailable research techniques.  Many thanks to the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust.


WSU has acquired an IVIS Spectrum CT (by Caliper Instruments, a Perkin-Elmer company) that is available to the general WSU community.  IVIS (In Vivo Imaging System) is a novel technology that enables one to measure optical probes (bioluminescence, fluorescence, and Cerenkov imaging for radiotracers) in live animals.  Because the measurements are made on an anesthetized animal, high precision longitudinal studies can be done with minimal numbers of animals and reagents, thus both reducing costs and increasing the validity of the results.  The system is ideal for studies that follow the progress of tumor growth, spread, and regression; distribution and growth of infectious agents; and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies with labeled pharmaceuticals; among others.

The particular configuration of the IVIS instrument on the WSU campus is capable of measuring biolu­mines­cent, fluorescent, and Cerenkov emissions from radio tracers in rodents.  It has a CT (Computed Tomography) scanner built in, and thus the location and intensity of the optical probes can be registered onto the animal’s skeleton in 3D.  To learn more about the technical capabilities of the instrument please see the manufacturer’s website.

Instrument Use and Access

The IVIS instrument is housed on the ground floor of the new Veterinary and Biomedical Research Building (VBRB).

To make the best use of your investment into this line of research, there are technical considerations regarding both probes and animal models that should be thought through and optimized before starting. Prior to beginning any line of experiments you should contact the faculty supervisor of the instrument, Dr. Joe Harding who can get you started on the items you need to think about.  Ultimately however, the selection and development of probes, as well as the best animal model, are decisions that you must make.

Once you have engaged with your experiment there is technical assistance available.  David DeWitt, IPN equipment coordinator, can help you get started on the instrument and you will schedule your use of the IVIS instrument through David.  David will be present as a resource should you need help when using the machine.  David can also certify your training at which point you can access the machine without his assistance.  However, David does not make routine measurements; this is your responsibility (either yourself, or your graduate student, post­doc or technician).

Data collection and analysis can be complex and/or time-consuming and is the responsibility of the individual laboratory and user -- please plan accordingly.

If you are interested in using the IVIS, please contact the equipment coordinator, David DeWitt.


Faculty Instrument Supervisor: Dr. Joe Harding hardingj@vetmed.wsu.edu

Equipment Coordinator: David DeWitt ddewitt@vetmed.wsu.edu

Usage Rates

There is a charge for using the IVIS.  This charge is used to cover the service contract and any consumables, as well as help provide technical assistance.

Charge Class                                 Rate
CVM College Member$30 per hour  (2 hour minimum)
WSU University Member25% over standard rate
External (outside WSU)35% over standard rate
Initial 10 hours per yearRate discounted 50% (per PI) 
Cancellation PolicyOne week notice required to avoid 50% session charge