The Small Animal Cancer Imaging Shared Resource (SACISR)

The Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center Small Animal Cancer Imaging Shared Resource incorporates appropriate imaging tools for cancer investigators to improve all aspects of cancer imaging.

Rates, Location & Hours

  • Located within the Center for Imaging Research (CIR), MEB Room 3165. 
  • Co-directed by James Joers, PhD and Kimberly Pechman, PhD
  • Contact Dr. Pechman at 414.456.7411 for more information or to schedule services. 

Resource Directors

Kimberly Pechman PhD, Research Scientist, Neurosurgery. Dr. Pechman has 10 years of experience in animal physiology and animal models, five of which have been dedicated to imaging of cancer in small animals.  Dr. Pechman interacts with cancer center investigators to assist in development and imaging of cancer animal models.

James Joers, PhD, Asst. Professor, Radiology.  Dr. Joers has 20 years of experience in magnetic resonance technique development and application and has been involved in cancer imaging and spectroscopy in humans and animals for the past 5 years.  Dr. Joers interacts directly with cancer center investigators to advise and coordinate aspects of experimental design, imaging protocol development, data acquisition and data visualization.


  • Introduction to potential MCW imaging collaborators (existing imaging expertise)
  • Experimental design consultation (e.g., modality, contrast agent selection)
  • Assistance with IACUC submission (imaging aspects).
  • Routine Data Acquisition        
  • Specialized Data Acquisition (novel pulse sequence development/verification, phantom construction)
  • Data Processing           

Key Equipment

9.4 T Bruker Biospec 94/30 USR In-vivo Spectroscopy Imaging System: The Bruker Biospec system has an actively-shielded 9.4 Tesla magnet with a 31-cm bore with the ability to generate magnetic field gradients up to 100 mT/m along all three axes.  A recent upgrade to the gradient set allows enhanced static field shimming capabilities, allowing a 0.1 ppm over a 70-mm spherical volume and 10 ppm over a 180-mm spherical volume.  This infrastructure is in place to augment the vendor-supplied shims with six additional shims coils, which can be used to further enhance magnetic field uniformity for imaging and spectroscopic studies.  The radio frequency system has two transmission channels capable of experiments on 1H, 19F, 13C, 15N, 23Na and 31P nuclei.  A wide array of third party coils are available for mouse to rat imaging, and additional house RF coil expertise is available through MCW’s Electron Paired Resonance center.

Single Photon  Emission Computed Tomography/ Computed Tomography (microSPECT/CT): This instrument is a hybrid four-detector microSPECT with integrated X-ray CT module (FLEX Triumph, Gamma Medica – Ideas/GE) complete with integrated anesthetic lines, temperature control, physiological monitoring and animal-specific (rat/mouse) imaging platforms.  The integrated nature of the SPECT/CT system allows generation of spatially co-registered images that reflect both anatomic structure and tracer accumulation.  It is also possible to acquire single mode data, (CT or SPECT) if desirable.

microCT: The CT subsystem includes a 50 to 80 kVp cone-beam X-ray source and a 368 x 2240 CMOS digital X-ray detector.  Additionally, this system permits ‘real time’ fluoroscopic acquisitions for X-ray guided animal interventions. 

microSPECT: The microSPECT hardware includes broadband NaI(Tl) detectors with user interchangeable multipinhole aperture plates and parallel hole collimators. The multipinhole collimator (5 pinholes/detector) enables dynamic studies of fast kinetic biological events, while the single pinhole collimator allows spatial resolution to roughly 1mm.  The collimator / detector/image reconstruction configuration allows for user-selectable flexibility in multiplexing options, pixel binning and dual isotope studies.

IVIS-100 Bioluminescent Imaging System

The IVIS system allows in vivo bioluminescence imaging mice or rats with an enzymatic bioluminescence expressing tag (e.g., luciferase).  The imaging system includes integrated anesthetic lines and temperature control.  The system CCD utilizes high-resolution 2D grey-scale images for anatomic purposes and allows user-defined settings for camera aperture, exposure time, field of view, and CCD pixel binning for the optimization of functional bioluminescent imaging.



Electronic Equipment Available

Extensive electronic test equipment including:

  • Agilent E5501B Phase Noise Measurement System
  • HP3577A Network Analyzer (5 Hz–200 MHz)
  • HP8510B Network Analyzer (10 MHz–20 GHz)
  • HP8722D Network Analyzer (50 MHz–40 GHz)
  • HP8566A Spectrum Analyzer (100 Hz–22 GHz)
  • HP8596E Spectrum Analyzer (9 KHz–12.8 GHz)
  • HP8564E Spectrum Analyzer (9KHz–40 GHz)
  • HP54100A Digitizing Oscilloscope
  • Frequency counters to 40 GHz

Support Equipment

  • Blood Gas Analyzer, Radiometer ABL3
  • Small-Animal Ventilator, CWE 830
  • Rodent capnograph, Stoelting
  • Temperature controller
  • Stereotaxic apparatus, Kopf 9001
  • Infusion pumps, Harvard Apparatus
  • Analytical balance, Mettler AB 104, H10T
  • Surgical microscope, Bausch & Lomb
  • Medical gas analyzer, Perkin-Elmer 1100 FHC OTS
  • Microscope, Nikon Optiphot
  • Forma -80 degree freezer
  • Syringe pump, Harvard 4400
  • Isoflurane Vaporizers, Model 100F

Additional facilities available to support small animal imaging

  • A fully-equipped machine shop located within the MACC fund building
  • A surgical suite immediately adjacent to the 9.4 MRI system

Contact Us

Department of Biophysics
Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509

Phone: 414-955-4000

Fax: 414-955-6512

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8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
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Page Updated 11/12/2014