Skip to Content

Ultrasound / Photoacoustics System

Departments of Medical Physics, School of Medicine and Public Health, and the Paul Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center

Visualsonics Scanner

The UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Paul Carbone Cancer Research Imaging Center, and the Department of Medical Physics support a Visualsonics Vevo 2100 and Vevo LAZR ultrasound and photoacoustic small animal imaging housed in the Small Animal Imaging Facility (SAIF), B1334, Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) Tower 1, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705-2275.

The Vevo 2100 is a high frequency array-based ultrasound system with center frequencies in the 20-70 MHz center frequency range. More details on system capability are provided here.

Photoacoustic imaging uses non-ionizing laser pulses which are delivered into biological tissues and/or contrast agents creating a small amount of heat noninvasively. This subtle heat creates a momentary thermoelastic expansion of the tissue/contrast agent at the ultrasonic emission wavelength, which is detected by traditional ultrasound transducers. More information on this process and system is available here.

Scheduling Information

Ultrasound and/or photoacoustic imaging studies can be scheduled after an initial new client meeting. This meeting will help ensure animal protocols are current, any necessary supplies/contrast agents are obtained, system abilities are available, funding is set up, data analysis procedures are explained, etc. Please use the email links below to set up this meeting. Subsequently, scans can be scheduled in 15-minute duration blocks and charged by the hour or on a per animal basis, depending on your needs and goals.

Please be aware it can take up to two weeks to coordinate with the Research Animal Resource Center and verify protocol requirements, so keep that in mind when planning your projects and contact us early for scheduling time.

To Schedule a Scan

Email Justin Jeffery or Beth Rauch and cc: Tomy Varghese with your request to arrange a meeting. For Cardiac Imaging, email Timothy Hacker and cc: Tomy Varghese. Please include the following in your email:

  • Your name and title
  • The PI associated with the project
  • The RARC Protocol number the animals are included on
  • Funding String to be used
  • Animal species or sample detail
  • Ex vivo or in vivo
  • Number of animals needed for the project and an estimated goal timeframe
  • Description of your project, including what data/results you are hoping ultrasound/photoacoustic imaging will provide

If you have any scheduling questions, contact Justin Jeffery, 608-263-0959 or Beth Rauch, MS 608-262-0967.

Fee Information

Initial scan to establish feasibility on a single animal is free of charge (up to 30 minutes). (Note that contrast agents and non-standard scanning supplies will be billed separately and will have to be purchased for free scans.) After the initial free scan, the following rates apply:

  • UW Users: $100/hour Ultrasound Imaging, $137/hour Photoacoustic Imaging (Anesthesia & Supply Charge included)
  • Commercial/Non UW Users: $230/hour Ultrasound Imaging, $310/hour Photoacoustic Imaging**
  • Data Analysis: $50-125/hour, Contact the Image Analysis Core for more information

** Non UW user costs include indirect costs, currently at 53%.

Scan rates will be evaluated every six months per the rules of operation of core facilities.

Potential Users of the System

PIs in Oncology, Neurobiology, Developmental Biology, Cardiology, Stroke/Ischemia, Diabetes, Nanoparticle Detection & Quantification

System Capabilities

  • Acquire ultrasound alone or in conjunction with photoacoustic imaging
  • Quantification of oxygen saturation and hemoglobin content
  • Microvascular hemodynamics in real-time
  • Molecular and cellular imaging
  • Spectral functionality/unmixing for characterization of photoacoustic signal (680 - 970nm)
  • Vevo Multiplexer tool to detect signal from multiple sources and co-register to anatomy
  • High sensitivity, high specificity, real-time 3D volumetric imaging
  • 3D Thresholding for optimized signal intensity during data analysis
  • Vevo Color for differentiating various targets
  • Longitudinal tumor imaging for therapeutic/drug studies
  • In vivo nanoparticle and microbubble imaging
  • Automatic co-registration of photoacoustic signal to anatomic ultrasound target
  • Real-time, in vivo imaging of deep tissue
  • High resolution: 30 μm
  • 3D imaging with respiration gating

Users of the system are requested to acknowledge the S10-OD018505 National Institutes of Health grant utilized to purchase this imaging system in any publication that results, in whole or in part, from data acquired with this system.



Copyright © 2011 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System