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Rev Sci Instrum. 2018 Jul;89(7):075107. doi: 10.1063/1.5026430.

A new preclinical ultrasound platform for widefield 3D imaging of rodents.

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SonoVol, Inc., Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.
Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.
Kitware, Inc., Carrboro, North Carolina 27510, USA.


Noninvasive in vivo imaging technologies enable researchers and clinicians to detect the presence of disease and longitudinally study its progression. By revealing anatomical, functional, or molecular changes, imaging tools can provide a near real-time assessment of important biological events. At the preclinical research level, imaging plays an important role by allowing disease mechanisms and potential therapies to be evaluated noninvasively. Because functional and molecular changes often precede gross anatomical changes, there has been a significant amount of research exploring the ability of different imaging modalities to track these aspects of various diseases. Herein, we present a novel robotic preclinical contrast-enhanced ultrasound system and demonstrate its use in evaluating tumors in a rodent model. By leveraging recent advances in ultrasound, this system favorably compares with other modalities, as it can perform anatomical, functional, and molecular imaging and is cost-effective, portable, and high throughput, without using ionizing radiation. Furthermore, this system circumvents many of the limitations of conventional preclinical ultrasound systems, including a limited field-of-view, low throughput, and large user variability.

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