STTARR is one of the largest preclinical imaging centres in the world located in Toronto, Ontario.
STTARR provides state-of-the-art imaging technology for cellular studies at the level of DNA and proteins, multi-modality imaging of pre-clinical models as well as a correlative pathology lab in an integrated environment. STTARR and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre's Radiation Medicine Program provide a platform for cutting-edge multidisciplinary radiotherapy research that is unmatched anywhere in the world. In addition to advancing our own research, STTARR was designed to support internal and external clients achieve their preclinical imaging needs. We have a number of imaging instruments and experimental capabilities accessible to the research community including:
- 4 CT scanners, which support imaging at resolutions ranging from 15 to 150 microns.
- An image guided radiation therapy unit for combined imaging and radiation treatment with sub-millimetre resolution (Precision X-Ray XRAD 225Cx).
- A Bruker 7 Tesla MR (Biospec 70/30 USR Ultra Shielded) scanner produces high quality high resolution MR images that can augment CT-based images and provide excellent soft tissue contrast and quantitative characterization. The MR has a 30cm horizontal-bore magnet and 4-receiver channel Bruker AVANCE spectrometer system, equipped with three separate gradient sets, high-performance gradient amplifier, RF volume resonators and surface.
- A high performance 1T MRI system capable of a breadth of pulse sequences and applications (Aspect Imaging M3).
- A wide bore 1.5T MRI system with HIFU (Siemens Aerus).
- Nuclear imaging with a Siemens Focus 220 MicroPET and a BioScan NanoSPECT.
- For optical imaging, we have a variety of small animal imaging systems (Perkin Elmer’s Xenogen IVIS, Maestro, FMT 2500 LX and Leica’s FCM 1000).
- We provide the latest in technology for high frequency Ultrasound and Photoacoustic imaging (VisualSonics Vevo 2100 and Vevo LAZR).
- For cellular studies we have the following instruments:
- Spinning disk confocal microscope for tracking nuclear DNA repair complexes
- Quantitative fluorescent COMET assay for measuring DNA damage
- Leica Tissue Arrayer for tissue microarrays
- Microenvironmental chambers to assess the effects of hypoxia on cellular models
- Multiplex immunoassays for cytokine and proteomic studies during cancer therapy We have dedicated animal holding areas, two fully equipped operating rooms, animal technicians and veterinarians available to provide handling and surgical assistance for your studies.
- The STTARR Correlative Pathology laboratory is equipped with innovative technology to enable whole-mount pathology in a systematic way preserving the geometric integrity of the sample, enabling accurate correlation to in vivo imaging. Our slide scanner (Huron Technology’s Tissuescope) can acquire high resolution (up to 0.25µm laser spot size) images in brightfield or fluorescence of tissue sections up to 7”x5” slides.
- We also offer image analysis support and services for the following softwares: Definiens Tissue Studio and Developer, MATLAB, Inveon Research Workplace (IRW), The DCE Tool, ImageJ, Amide, Microview, and Amira.
- Lastly, we have 1500 square-feet of wet lab space dedicated to developing new contrast agents, molecular probes and radiotracers. A new PET/SPECT/CT systems are expected in late 2016.