Introduction to the Animal Imaging Center (AIC)

Magnetic Resonance and Fluorescence Imaging


In vivo imaging has evolved from a technology platform providing morphological and morphometric data to a toolset that allows annotating anatomy with dynamic physiological and molecular information. This has been made possible by developing i) fast imaging techniques that are capable of coping with the time scales of physiological and metabolic processes in tissue and ii) highly sensitive imaging approaches capable of visualizing molecular events occurring at low abundance.

One imaging modality cannot cover the all aspects encountered in non-invasive imaging of small animals: high spatial resolution (<100mm), high temporal resolution (<1s), high sensitivity (concentrations < 1mM). The three criteria are complementary.



We have established two imaging modalities in our lab:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) characterized by high spatialresolution and excellent soft tissue contrast providing high-definition structural and functional information
  • Fluorescence Imaging providing high sensitivity

Further imaging modalities at the AIC are positron emission tomography (PET; Prof PA Schubiger) and X-ray computer tomography (CT, Prof R Müller)


The objective of the lab is twofold: to methodologically advance small animal imaging and to provide a state-of-the-art imaging platform to partners in the biology/pharmacology labs.