Capabilities

EQUIPMENT

IVIS Lumina III Imaging System (PerkinElmer)

Integrating bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging, the IVIS Lumina Imaging System provides in-life assessment of disease progression. Qualitative and quantitative measures are collected from anesthetized animals targeting whole body disease progression, specific areas of the animals' anatomy, and/or even ex-vivo imaging of organs and tissues. This technology is particularly powerful paired with our various cancer models, and also has applications in oral mucositis, pulmonary disease, and arthritis models.

MACSQuant Analyzer for FACS analysis (Miltenyi Biotec)

Ability to analyze up to seven parameters simultaneously. For use in the detailed characterization of multiple cell types, assessment of cytokine production, intra-cellular signaling, and evaluation of the purity of cell populations. Relevant to any model in which a particular cell type needs to be identified and/or characterized. For example, assessing tumor infiltrating leukocytes in oncology models, activation of lymphocytes following drug delivery, and tracking engraftment in adoptive transfer models.

HD Endoscopy System (Karl Storz)

Endoscopic evaluation is tantamount to determining the efficacy of experimental compounds in the treatment of IBD and colitis. Our skilled technicians carefully perform endoscopic evaluation and monitor disease progression using a five-point scale to generate a colitis score. Endoscopic evaluations can be performed at various time points throughout a study, which is useful in tracking the progression of disease over time and the response of disease to test articles. Relevant Models: Colitis, Proctitis, GI-ARS.

flexiVent™ Rodent Mechanical Ventilator (SCIREQ)

The measure of detailed lung mechanics is necessary in the evaluation of translatable endpoints in models of pulmonary disease. The flexiVent™ rodent mechanical ventilator provides us with the ability to apply ventilator support for small animals, but also has the capability of using forced oscillations to provide detailed lung mechanics in rodents. These measures include quasi-static pressure-volume loops to quantify static lung elastance and compliance as well as broadband forced oscillations that measure lung input impedance that provides information on airway and tissue properties. Additionally, the ability to nebulize bronchoconstrictive agents into the inspiratory stream allows precise measure of airway hyperreactivity in lung inflammation models. Relevant Models: Acute Lung Injury/Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Allergic Asthma, Pulmonary Fibrosis

X-Ray Radiation Source (Kimtron)

The Kimtron Polaris II is used to safely deliver radiation therapy in a contained and shielded cabinet. The source has a 160kV potential and is utilized in studies that require varied doses of acute, fractionated or chronic irradiation. To ensure accuracy, the 560 Advanced Therapy Dosimeter (Fluke Biomedical) reference grade instrument is used to measure the charge and current emitted from the ion chambers. In addition, we have thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) that accurately detect ionizing radiation. When a chip is exposed to radiation, it absorbs the energy which can be read using a TLD reader. The reader heats the chips and detect the intensity of light emitted, which is directly correlated with the radiation exposure. Relevant Models: Oral Mucositis, Dermatitis, Proctitis, GI-ARS, TBI.

Isoflurane Anesthesia System (Vet Equip)

Isoflurane anesthesia is a standard way by which to temporarily anesthetize an animal in a safe and humane manner. In comparison to injectable anesthetics, isoflurane inhaled anesthesia is less susceptible to overdose risk, leads to anesthesia in a faster and more consistent manner, and allows the animals to be maintained under anesthesia for a longer duration of time than is possible with a sub-toxic dose of injectable anesthesia. Our 4-chamber devices can accommodate numerous mice and rats at a time and provides rapid induction and recovery of anesthesia.

CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

Cancer Cell Line Inventory

Indication Cell Line
Breast Carcinoma MDA-MB-231*, MDA-MB-435, MDA-MB-468, 4T1*
Colorectal Carcinoma HCT-15, HCT-116*, HT-29, CT26, DLD-1
Pancreatic Carcinoma AsPC-1, PANC-1, MIA PaCa-2, BxPc-3*
Head and Neck Carcinoma FaDu, SCC-15, SCC-25*
Lung Carcinoma A549, NIH-H460*, NCI-H69 (small cell), NCI-H82 (small cell), NIH-H520, Lewis Lung
Glioma Carcinoma U87-MG, U118-MG, F98

Additional cell lines available:
Alveolar (L-929)
Bladder (RT-4)
Cancer (Walker 256) 
Leukemia Pro-monocytic (HL-60)
Leukemia ATL ( Molt-4, K562, CEM)
Leukemia T-cell (Kasumi-1, Jurkat)
Lymphoma (RAMOS)
Lymphoma-Mantle Cell (JeKo, Z138)
Lymphoma T-cell (EL-4)
Liver (HepG2, Hep 3B, Prt-plc-5)
Multiple Myeloma (RPMI 8226)

Melanoma (SK-MEL-28, A375, B16-FO, B16-F1O)
Ovarian Carcinoma (A2780, OVCAR-3, SK-OV-3)
Prostate (Du145, LNCaP, PC-3)
Renal (Caki-1, Caki-2, A498, HEK-293, 786-O)
Rhabdomyosarcoma (A-673)
Stomach (NCI-N87)
Tongue (CAL-27)
Thyroid Carcinoma (TT)

*=luminescent cell lines stably transfected with firefly luciferase gene (luc2) for in vivo imaging via IVIS Lumina III.
Relevant Models: Oncology

MACSQuant Analyzer for FACS Analysis (Miltenyi Biotec)

Ability to analyze up to seven parameters simultaneously. For use in the detailed characterization of multiple cell types, assessment of cytokine production, intra-cellular signaling, and evaluation of the purity of cell populations. Relevant to any model in which a particular cell type needs to be identified and/or characterized. For example, assessing tumor infiltrating leukocytes in oncology models, activation of lymphocytes following drug delivery, and tracking engraftment in adoptive transfer models.

Cell Separation System (Miltenyi Biotec)

Uses magnetic cell separation technology to enrich specific sub populations from a wide variety of cell types based on expression or absence of specific surface markers. For example, bone marrow preparations can be depleted of CD4+ T cells prior to adoptive transfer in GVHD models, and naïve T cells can be purified from spleen preparations for use in colitis models.

RT-PCR

Used commonly in molecular biology to detect RNA expression; our capabilities include PCR, RT-PCR, qPCR, and qRT-PCR.

MICROSCOPY

Nikon Stereomicroscopy

Useful for surface study of solid specimens and in dissection and microsurgery procedures.

Nikon Fluorescence Microscopy

Allows for the detection of biological fluorescent stains for visualizing cell and tissue subtypes, immunofluorescence, and fluorescent proteins.

BLOOD ANALYSIS

VetScan Serum Chemistry Analysis

State of the art chemistry, electrolyte, immunoassay and blood analyzer for whole blood, serum, or plasma samples.

Blood Glucose Testing

Hand held meters for use in diabetic models and/or glucose tolerant testing.

Complete Blood Count (CBC) Analysis

Small volume (40μl) system allows CBC assessment in rodents. Typical outputs include: White Blood Cells, Red Blood Cells, Hemoglobin, and Hematocrit.

IN LIFE MONITORING

Laser Doppler Blood Flow Monitor (Oxford Optronix)

For studies directed towards evaluation of the circulatory system, the Optronix perfusion monitor provides a quantitative assessment of blood flow. The device can be outfitted with non-invasive surface probes that can be applied to the skin of the animal; for more invasive and refined measures, a needle probe can be applied directly to exposed muscle or to a vein or artery of interest. Relevant Models - Blood monitoring, venous thrombosis, pulmonary disease, forced exercise.

Tail Cuff Blood Pressure Monitors

Allows for in-vivo assessment of blood pressure in conscious mice and rats.

TopScan Video Tracking Software (for behavioral testing)

This tracking system monitors the locomotor activity of rats and mice automatically and records their behavior for an extended period of time. The advantages of this system are its objectivity to measuring an animal's behavioral repertoire and the freedom to perform behavioral evaluations without the potential confound of an experimenter evaluating the animals while in the behavior room. Some of the measures tracked include: number of activity bouts, bout duration, duration percent, latency, distance traveled, velocity, and time spent idle. All of these measurements are performed and calculated automatically and accurately, providing a detailed representation of an animal's behavioral output. Relevant Models: Neuroscience paradigms, behavioral monitoring, chemotherapy and radiation-related fatigue.

Running Wheels (for activity monitoring/circadian rhythm in mice)

Running Wheel Behavioral Suite - with over 100 available running wheels for the evaluation of activity and circadian rhythms, our running wheel behavioral suite can provide detailed activity readouts over a long period of time 24 hours a day. The suite is insulated from perturbations of sound and light and the light schedule in the suite can be altered for circadian rhythm experiments. Data is analyzed in real time. Relevant Models - Circadian rhythm, Total Body Irradiation, Forced Exercise, Pulmonary Disease, Arthritis, Wound Healing, Blood Perfusion Monitoring, Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, chemotherapy and radiation-related fatigue.

Metabolic Cages

Metabolic cages allow for separate collection of urine and feces from rodents for analysis of administered compounds and/or their metabolites.

Behavior Assessment

In addition to video tracking software and running wheel evaluation, we maintain an active behavioral program with capabilities for testing depression, anxiety, pain, neuropathy, and more. This includes access to an open-field evaluation paradigm, Morris water maze, forced swim, tail suspension test, rotorod, social approach, object recognition, T-maze, hot/cold plate, and Von Frey filaments.

TISSUE COLLECTION/HISTOLOGY/IMMUNOHISTOCHEMISTRY

Capabilities

In addition to our in-life capabilities, we also offer tissue collection and histology services aimed to provide interested clients with additional endpoints that could be useful in determining the efficacy of their compound. We offer the following services:
  • Organ collection and processing (most major and minor organs, lymph nodes, major blood vessels through fine or crude dissection methods, provide weights and lengths if requested, and process the tissue for subsequent histological and pathological evaluation)
  • Blood draws (retro-orbital eye bleeds and/or intracardial extraction for the preparation of serum and/or plasma).
  • Staining of tissues, standard histological stains as well as immunohistochemistry (IHC).
  • Histopathology evaluation is offered through collaboration with Charter Preclinical Services.
  • 3D high-resolution, quantitative microCT imaging is available with models of inflammation, pulmonary, oncology, cardiovascular and bone. This service is offered through our collaboration with Numira, Inc.

ADMINISTRATION ROUTES

Capabilities

  • Oral Gavage (PO)
  • Subcutaneous (SC)
  • Intravenous (IV)
  • Intraperitoneal (IP)
  • Intranasal Administration (IN)
  • Intratracheal Instillation (IT), Penn Century MicroSprayer®
  • Nebulized Drug Delivery
  • Topical
  • Rectal
  • Intramuscular (IM)
  • Intradermal (ID)
  • Cannula (dosing and maintenance)
  • Subcutaneous mini pumps
  • Oral capsule delivery