Molecular imaging

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Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) enables determination of the distribution of ionizable molecules present in tissue sections of whole-body or single heterogeneous organ samples by direct ionization and detection.

This emerging technique is used in our laboratories for in situ label-free molecular imaging of endogenous or exogenous small molecules. MSI allows the simultaneous visualization of many types of molecules including a parent molecule and its metabolites. Drugs, proteins, lipids and metabolites can easily be monitored in their environment. MSI is a potential tool for pathological analysis, understanding pharmaceutical mechanisms and biomarker discovery.

Available equipment is:

  • MALDI-TOF (Rapiflex II, Bruker)
  • MALDI-FTICR-MS 9.4T (Solarix XR, Bruker)

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Cell imaging

Logo_Logo-autres_GIGALive cell imaging allows the study of cellular dynamics in order to have a better understanding of biological functions.

The GIGA gives you access to the following imaging technologies:

The Zeiss Lighsheet Z1 microscope imaging system can deliver optical sections of large 3D live specimens for a prolonged period of time (even several days of development), with virtually no phototoxicity or bleaching. Tissue clearing allows to image deep into large biological samples (i.e. tissue sections, brains, embryos, rogans, spheroids or biopsies) with high temporal resolution.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Confocal microscopy allows an extremely precise and simultaneous intracellular localization of fluorochrome-coupled molecules. The localization of a protein of interest or cell behavior or an organism in response to a stimulus can be tracked over time by keeping the cells in optimal experimental conditions using the built-in thermostated chamber.

All microscopes are equipped for time lapse, live imaging, FRAP, FRET and photoactivation:

  • Olympus FV1000
  • Leica SP5 acousto-optical beam splitter (AOBS)
  • Nikon A1R Hybrid resonant scanner
  • Zeiss LSM880 Airy scan Elyra S1(SIM)

The image treatment and analysis are performed with Imaris 3D/4D software.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Using fluorescent probes, flow cytometry provides rapid, simultaneous, qualitative and quantitative detection and subsequent analysis of multiple characteristics of single cells or any particles larger than one micron when studying cell cycle, cell ploidy, cell proliferation, DNA damage or cell viability.

Selected cell populations can also physically be sorted for further analysis.

Our equipment include:

  • BD FACSAria III 4L sorter (405nm, 488nm, 561nm, 633nm, aerosol free, cloning, 4 ways aseptic sorting)
  • BD FACSAria IIIu 4L SORP sorter (405nm, 488nm, 561nm, 633nm, aerosol free, cloning, 4 ways aseptic sorting)
  • BD FACSCanto II (405nm, 488nm, 633nm)
  • BD FACSVerse (405nm, 488nm, 633nm, walk-away system)
  • BD FACSCalibur 2 lasers (488nm, 633nm)
  • BD FACSFortessa 5 lasers (UV, 405nm, 488nm, 561nm, 633nm)
  • Bio-Rad LUMINEX 100

For the analysis, following software can be used: FACSuite, FACSDiva, Cell Quest Pro, Flow Jo, Mod Fit, FCap Array, Bio-Plex Manager Software for Luminex.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Becton Dickinson’s (BD) Pathway 855 High-Content Bioimager is a high performing imaging solution for live or fixed cell samples combining image quality, flexible image capture and live-cell analysis.

BD Pathway system provides fluorescence intensity measurements, kinetic imaging and morphological analysis, including sub-cellular imaging.

Images can be captured in either confocal or wide field mode to deliver high-resolution images for subsequent analysis.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.


Histology

Immunohistochemistry_NV_site_HistologyOur GIGA platform has developed a large expertise in processing tissues to get high-quality sections and in optimizing the immunohistochemical detection of antigens.

We can prepare and assess your histological samples.

  • Paraffin Embedding using processor for paraffin tissue infiltration (ASP300S, Leica) and tissue embedding machine (EG1150, Leica). This includes stepwise dehydration in a graded alcohol series, transfer to xylol, as well as paraffin, sample orientation and embedding
  • Cryoembedding
  • Sectioning and Slide Mounting using Motorized microtome (Microm HM355S, Thermo Scientific – RM2165, Leica) for paraffin embedded samples and precision cryoembedding system and sectioning system (CM3050S, Leica) for frozen samples

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Cytospin is a cytology method that is specifically designed to concentrate cells. After the cytospin is completed, other cytology methods such as immunocytochemistry can be performed to evaluate the cells.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Different staining techniques are available such as:

  • Hematoxylin-eosin
  • Trichrome Masson
  • Fast green Safranin
  • Toluidine blue
  • Periodic acid-Schiff
  • Hematognost Fe
  • Sirius red
  • Van Kossa stain

We are equipped with a programmable routine Autostainer XL, Leica and a glass coverslipper mounting station (CV5030, Leica).

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

We are equipped with the slide staining automate (Discovery XT, Ventana) to perform immunofluorescence, DABMap, BlueMap, RedMap, ChromoMapDA, ChromoMap Blue, ChromoMap Red staining.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

In situ hybridization uses labelled-probes that bind to:

  • DNA to detect and localize the presence or absence of specific sequences on chromosomes
  • RNA sequences (mRNA, lncRNA and miRNA) to define spatial-temporal patterns of gene expression

Equipment: slide staining automate (Discovery XT, Ventana)

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

 

Tissue microarrays consists of paraffin blocks in which up to 1000 separate tissue cores are assembled in array fashion to allow multiplex histological analyses. They are particularly useful in the analysis of large set of samples.

Equipment: Tissue Microarray Alphelys

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

The NanoZoomer 2.0-HT, combined with the Cytomine software, is a digital slide scanner that converts glass slides into high-resolution digital data by high-speed scanning that is equal or superior to the clarity of optical microscopes.

We have developed an Internet platform that can store and classify digitized microscope slides.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Preclinical imaging

Logo_Logo-autres_GIGAOur GIGA platforms offer advanced preclinical functional and anatomical imaging solutions for a broad spectrum of application fields.

Our range of techniques includes:

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners use strong magnetic fields and radio-waves to visualize detailed internal structures. Images are obtained in vivo with very high spatial and temporal resolution, good contrast for brain and soft tissues. MRI can be used in a wide variety of applications including anatomical, functional (fMRI) and molecular imaging for medical diagnosis, staging of disease and for follow-up without exposure to ionizing radiation.

Our system, Agilent MicroMRI 9,4T 310 ASR is equipped with a technical imaging unit (MINERVE). It ensures the admission and extraction of anesthetic gas, thermoregulation of the study subject and monitoring of vital signs such as respiratory and cardiac frequencies.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Computed Tomography (CT) is a non-destructive technique that yields structural and anatomical high-resolution 3D images with limited or no sample preparation required. This imaging modality complements the metabolic or functional images obtained with PET.

Being equipped with two beds for mice (25 mm) and rats (75 mm), our system, the TriFoil Imaging eXplore CT 120micro-CT, is designed to visualize, quantify and characterize anatomical parameters in small animals. The system is also equipped with a technical imaging unit (MINERVE), ensuring the admission and extraction of anesthetic gas, thermoregulation of the study subject and monitoring of vital signs such as respiratory and cardiac frequencies.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) has the sensitivity to visualize at picomolar level molecular processes in 3D. In vivo PET imaging with labelled lead compounds will help to select the best one for clinical trials.

The technique allows:

  • The collection of quantitative and dynamic biodistribution data (e.g. micro-dosing studies) at an early stage of the clinical development: Dynamic data for in-depth kinetic modeling, online blood measurements and in-brain positron-emission measurements
  • Detailed drug occupancy studies (proof of targets, mechanism, efficacy, pharmacokinetics, biodistribution)
  • Concentration analysis of targeted analytes after having developed and validated a dedicated method using microdialysis, a technique that is used for continuous measurement of free, bound analyte concentrations in the extracellular fluid. Analytes may include endogenous molecules (e.g. neurotransmitter, hormones, glucose, etc.) to assess their biochemical functions in the body, or exogenous compounds (e.g. pharmaceuticals) to determine their distribution within the body)

We are authorized to conduct research programs with classical (18F-FDG) and original radiotracers. Furthermore, we have developed expertise in experimental design, data acquisition, correction and modeling for kinetic analysis.

Being equipped with two beds for mice (25 mm) and rats (75 mm), our system, the Siemens Concorde FOCUS 120 micro-PET, is designed to visualize, quantify and characterize anatomical parameters in small animals. The system is also equipped with a technical imaging unit (MINERVE), ensuring the admission and extraction of anesthetic gas, thermoregulation of the study subject and monitoring of vital signs such as respiratory and cardiac frequencies.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Our equipment includes the high-resolution, high-frequency ultrasound imaging system Vevo 2100 (Visualsonics). This is a non-invasive, in vivo micro imaging system, enabling visualization, assessment and measurement of anatomical structures and hemodynamic function in longitudinal studies for small animal phenotyping.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

The Xegonen IVIS 200 system is a highly sensitive and flexible system to trace bioluminescent reporter genes both in vivo and in vitro. It allows non-invasive longitudinal monitoring of disease progression, cell trafficking and gene expression patterns in living animals. By performing spectral fluorescence imaging, it allows the simultaneous use of bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging.

Bioluminescence imaging uses the enzyme, luciferase, that can be inserted into the genome of cancer cells or the cells you wish to track. Once these cells are implanted within mice, a tail vein or intra-peritoneal injection of luciferin (luciferase substrate) allows to follow their distribution ex vivo without euthanasia.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Intravital microscopy is an extremely powerful tool that enables imaging several biological processes in live animals. In particular, to analyze:

 

 

  • Recruitment processes of leukocytes and platelets on microvessel endothelia
  • Bacterial adhesion on the microvessel endothelia
  • Thrombi and vascular occlusion formation
  • Lymphocytes migration to lymph nodes and lymphocytes adhesion to endothelia

Our equipment includes a motorized Olympus Cell R (Upright) microscope with EMCCD camera, controlled via the Slidebook software.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

PXI X-RAD SmART Image Guided Irradiator combines 3D imaging with highly accurate Radiotherapy for Small Animals: mice, rats and rabbits. It combines a user friendly interface with state-of-the-art Monte Carlo calculation algorithms to rapidly devise treatment plans.

The system is fully integrated, with automated CT-CT registration, allowing, Image Guided Radiotherapy for precise tumor/organ localization. The integrated Treatment planning enables rapid and highly conformal radiotherapy treatments, with collimator from 1mm to 10 cm in round and non-round shapes, to be delivered in any scenario, ranging from simple subcutaneous xenografts to complex metastatic models or to develop non tumoral model as radiation-induced injury for a specific purpose.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.


Clinical imaging

Together, the CHU and the GIGA have a vast expertise in clinical imaging techniques, individually or combined in a multimodal functional imaging approach.

Picture3Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners use strong magnetic fields and radio-waves to visualize detailed-internal structures. Images are obtained in vivo with very high spatial and temporal resolution and good contrast for brain and soft tissues. MRI can be used in a wide variety of applications including anatomical, functional (fMRI) and molecular imaging for medical diagnosis, staging of disease and for follow-up without exposure to ionizing radiation.

Equipment: two 3T Siemens Allegra with parallel imaging capabilities (8-channel receive coil), one 1.5T Siemens Symphony and two 1.5 Siemens Aera Scanners.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

gemini tf16Positron Emission Tomography (PET) has the sensitivity to visualize at picomolar level molecular processes in 3D and in a volume and target-depth independent manner. As a stand-alone device or combined with a CT scanner (PET-CT), it allows a wide range of clinical and experimental applications:

  • Dynamic brain imaging (arterial blood sampling):
    • Concentration analysis of targeted analytes
    • Dynamic PET with tracer kinetic modeling techniques
  • Static brain imaging with 18F radiopharmaceuticals
  • Whole-body imaging for dosimetry:
    • Collection of quantitative and dynamic biodistribution data
    • Detailed drug occupancy studies
  • Whole-body imaging for metabolic evaluation, receptor or gene expression, with or without full diagnostic contrast-enhanced CT imaging

Equipment: PET scanner Siemens HR+, PET/CT Philips Gemini TF16 & Philips Gemini TF Big Bore (fully fitted for RT Planning)

In addition, we have:

  • Expertise in the development of new radioligand (for more info, click here)
  • Marketing Authorization Application to produce 18F-FDG (#BE241132)
  • Marketing Authorization Application to produce 68GA labelled compound
  • Certification to synthesize radiolabeled registered and experimental drugs
  • Authorization to conduct research programs with clinically validated 18F-FDG or original radiotracers
  • Expertise in experimental design, data collection, correction and modeling for kinetic analysis

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

Picture4SPECT is a nuclear medicine tomographic imaging technique, which uses radiopharmaceutical emitting gamma rays. Similar to PET, it can be combined with a computed tomography (CT), a cross-sectional technique that yields structural and anatomical high-resolution 3D images.

Equipment: 2 SPECT-CT Siemens Symbia T6, 1 SPECT Siemens E-Cam.

Contact [info@b2h.be] us to discuss how these capabilities can forward your projects! We will help you develop tailored solutions.

BrightSpeedElite-281x300A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images, or slices, of bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside the body.

Equipment: 2 GE Brightspeed Elite scanners, 2 Siemens Somaton Emotion scanners, 1 Siemens Somaton Definition scanner.