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In Vivo Tumor Progression Studies: An Educational Webinar with Bruker and Imanis

June 15, 2017, Imanis Life Sciences, Rochester MN

On June 8, Dr. Kah-Whye Peng, COO of Imanis Life Sciences, co-presented a webinar entitled “In Vivo Tumor Progression Imaging Studies” with Dr. Andrew Van Praagh, Bruker Biospin Field Applications Scientist. The webinar covered the benefits of multimodal reporter gene imaging and how it can be used to accelerate and improve preclinical research. Recent studies performed by Bruker have truly showcased the superior data that can be obtained using Imanis’ high-quality reporter gene expressing cell lines and lentiviral vectors. Using Bruker’s In Vivo Extreme II imaging system, which delivers unmatched sensitivity and speed, these already effective reagents are able to showcase their full potential.

Watch the full webinar here, or continue below for a brief summary of its content.

Dr. Peng explained Imanis’ contributions to the advancements in In Vivo imaging and the necessity of having a genetic GPS system to be able to track therapies given to humans or animals. She summarized how reporter gene technologies have drastically changed, from the use of ex vivo reporters LacZ and GFP, to the development of firefly luciferase as a noninvasive in vivo reporter, and ultimately to current NIS technology offered exclusively through Imanis.
Dr. Peng reviewed some of the major reporter genes available for ex vivo and in vivo imaging, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the different reporters.
  1. Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) is useful for ex vivo studies at high resolution, but due to high background autofluorescence, it is not suitable for in vivo imaging.
  2. Near-infrared fluorescent protein (iRFP) is suitable for both in vivo and ex vivo imaging, but still suffers from light attenuation, which limits deep tissue imaging.
  3. Luciferase offers high sensitivity and the ability to perform serial imaging in live animals, but has limited resolution.
  4. Nuclear reporters, such as NIS, offer high resolution tomographic images, are suitable for deep tissue imaging, and are clinically translatable. Yet, many institutes lack the equipment necessary for nuclear imaging.

Dr. Van Praagh analyzed the value of performing whole animal, in vivo tumor progression imaging studies, explaining how it allows for many aspects of oncolytic research, such as tumor distribution, diversity, cellular physiology, and therapy outcomes. In addition, it allows for a single set of animals to be used, eliminating data variability and ultimately reducing the number of animals needed. He discussed which imaging devices should be used for preclinical and clinical studies, and the relative strengths of each imaging modality for imaging tumors. He described how performing multi-modality, whole-animal tumor progression imaging studies, can address many aspects of oncolytic research, such as tumor distribution, diversity, cellular physiology, and therapy outcomes.
 Dr. Van Praagh showed some of the recent data that Bruker has generated from proof-of-concept studies using their In Vivo Extreme II and Imanis A549 cells expressing firefly luciferase and iRFP. These data demonstrated that tumors and metastases could be monitored with high resolution and sensitivity by using multimodal imaging. Click here to see more details of these studies.

Both presenters emphasized the importance of using quality reagents and imaging systems to achieve superior results. Dr. Peng explained how Imanis products are made in-house and undergo rigorous testing. Imanis cell lines are generated from ATCC-licensed parental cell lines that have been authenticated by STR profiling, and all cell lines are certified mycoplasma free.

Bruker’s In Vivo Extreme II provides the ability to perform multimodality imaging using a single machine, making it easy to achieve quality data for tumor progression studies.
Ultimately, there is no single imaging modality that can provide all of the characteristics an investigator might desire, such as high sensitivity, a high signal to noise ratio, high resolution, precise tomography, cellular resolution, and whole-animal imaging. Therefore, Dr. Peng and Dr. Van Praagh illuminated how multi-modality reporter gene imaging provides a more complete picture than a single image modality.


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