The infrastructure comprises in vivo imaging and cell and tissue imaging.
In vivo imaging is located in the Biomedical Imaging Unit at the A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences.
The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit is of a high international level and nationally unique, consisting of three MRI devices (9.4T/31 cm, 9.4T /89 mm and 7T/16cm) and a hyperpolarisation device. A new 11.75 T MRI device has recently been purchased together with SIB Labs. The new MRI unit is an integral part of the Finnish Infrastructure for Functional Imaging (FIFI), making it part of the national infrastructure roadmap. The equipment has also been used in preparation-stage proof of concept studies of the European-level EuroBioImaging ESFRI, as one of the five sites in Europe.
The in vivo unit also includes μPET, μCT/SPECT scanners optimisable for small and/or large animals, optoacoustic and 3D angiography, optical imaging (IVIS) and ultrasound devices, as well as a multiphoton microscope catering for in vivo and cellular imaging alike. μPET-imaging is done in collaboration with Kuopio University Hospital and with its radiochemistry laboratory, and cyclotron. Through this collaboration imaging service using tailor made radiopharmaceuticals can be attained. The service activity and the maintenance and development of the devices is the responsibility of two researchers, and the activities also rely on the expertise of approximately 25 imaging researchers working in various research groups at the A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences and at the Department of Applied Physics at the Faculty of Science and Forestry. Imaging performed in the unit plays a key role in several top-level and advanced-level research areas defined in UEF’s strategy (Neuroscience, Cardiovascular diseases, Cancers, and Musculoskeletal disorders). The unit’s imaging services play a key role in several significant EU H2020 and NIH funded projects. This multi-modal in vivo imaging complex for laboratory animals is the only one of its kind in Finland. The devices are also actively used for commissioned research at the national and international levels.
The imaging equipment of the cell and tissue imaging unit’s infrastructure comprises a state-of-the-art confocal microscope (Zeiss LSM700), a super resolution confocal microscope (LSM800 Airyscan), a light microscope equipped with polarization technology, a fluorescence microscope equipped with a microinjection device and relief contrast technology. Furthermore, the unit hosts a next-generation high-throughput automated live cell imaging device intended for the imaging of live cells (Incucyte S3, Essen Bi-oscience). The maintenance of the devices, user guidance and methodological development is the responsibility of three persons. The use of the equipment is extremely extensive and intensive, and the publishing activity has been high. In addition to technical training, we also give guidance in sample preparation as well as bio-logical advice when necessary. The devices’ booking system, prices and other information are available on the university’s website. The infrastructure also comprises a histology laboratory equipped with modern devices. This laboratory caters for research needs across faculty boundaries and it employs two persons. The cell and tissue imaging unit collaborates closely with the Faculty of Science and Forestry’s imaging service unit and the Faculty of Science and Forestry’s infrastructure unit SIB Labs, and the unit also engages in cooperation in the fields of cell and tissue biology and biomaterials research.
SIB Labs’ specific expertise relating to bioimaging includes electron microscopy (SEM, TEM) and the related methods for the preparation of specific samples, as well as optical microspectroscopy (FTIR, Raman) and microtomography (microCT) (A more detailed description is available in the section of SIB Labs).