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Optimization of microCT imaging and blood vessel diameter quantitation of preclinical specimen vasculature with radiopaque polymer injection medium.

  • Author(s): Vasquez, Sergio X
  • Gao, Feng
  • Su, Feng
  • Grijalva, Victor
  • Pope, John
  • Martin, Bill
  • Stinstra, Jeroen
  • Masner, Matthew
  • Shah, Neha
  • Weinstein, David M
  • Farias-Eisner, Robin
  • Reddy, Srinivasa T
  • et al.

Vascular networks within a living organism are complex, multi-dimensional, and challenging to image capture. Radio-angiographic studies in live animals require a high level of infrastructure and technical investment in order to administer costly perfusion mediums whose signals metabolize and degrade relatively rapidly, diminishing within a few hours or days. Additionally, live animal specimens must not be subject to long duration scans, which can cause high levels of radiation exposure to the specimen, limiting the quality of images that can be captured. Lastly, despite technological advances in live-animal specimen imaging, it is quite difficult to minimize or prevent movement of a live animal, which can cause motion artifacts in the final data output. It is demonstrated here that through the use of postmortem perfusion protocols of radiopaque silicone polymer mediums and ex-vivo organ harvest, it is possible to acquire a high level of vascular signal in preclinical specimens through the use of micro-computed tomographic (microCT) imaging. Additionally, utilizing high-order rendering algorithms, it is possible to further derive vessel morphometrics for qualitative and quantitative analysis.

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