Small-Animal Imaging Facility (SAIF)

During a micro-ultrasound, high-frequency sound waves are measured using transducers and reconstructed to create images. Micro-ultrasounds are capable of anatomical imaging and monitoring certain physiological processes.

Micro-ultrasound technology uses high frequency sound waves of 15 to 80 MHz and can provide image resolution as low as 30 microns. These high-frequency sound waves are generated by a transducer, serving as an interface on the surface of the subject. The transducer is responsible for both transmission and reception of the high frequency sound waves. An image is generated from the acoustic echoes of these sound waves as they are reflected off internal tissue boundaries, returned to the transducer, and converted into an electrical signal by piezoelectric crystals. The electrical signals are reconstructed into a 2-D grayscale image or 3-D images with volumetric measurements. 

Ultrasound is a relatively quick imaging technique that:

  • Is noninvasive
  • Provides high resolution, real-time images
  • Can be performedin vivo
  • Is safe for the user and the animal
  • Provides effective results

Ultrasounds can monitor phenotypic changes in both healthy and disease models over time as well as the effects of novel treatment therapies. The use of Doppler also provides functional information on blood flow dynamics. Injected contrast in the form of microbubbles can be used to highlight vasculature and target certain biomarkers.

Specific applications include:

  • Tumor volume
  • Lesion detection
  • Perfusion
  • Drug efficacy
  • Image guided injection 

Micro-ultrasoundTo request services, please use CrossLab. New users should contact Lori Moon at 616.234.5779 to set up an account. For questions, please contact Bryn Eagleson


VisualSonics Vevo 770 Imaging Platform

Resolution: ~50 µm

System features:

  • 30 micron resolution
  • Non-invasive real-time longitudinal studies
  • 3-D
  • Power Doppler
  • Microbubble contrast
  • Heated scanning platform
  • Physiology monitoring