photo collage showing LFIC facilities

LCIF’s 14,000 sq. ft., AAALAC-certified satellite animal facility is maintained by the DFCI Animal Resource Facilities and supervised by a licensed veterinarian. Mice are housed in individually ventilated cages in a state-of-the-art OptiMICE rack system equipped with automatic watering. Separate areas for non-radioactive and radioactive animals house a total of 3,300 mouse cages.

The LFIC animal facility is temperature controlled, with automated lighting ensuring a standard light/dark circadian cycle. The LFIC has 5 animal holding rooms, 6 imaging modality rooms, a surgical procedure room, a tissue culture room, and a radiochemistry laboratory.

The entire facility is set up as a bio-barrier with a pass-through misting tunnel, a decontamination room, and an air shower, providing additional bio-security.

DFCI operates in full compliance with all applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare Act and other Federal Statutes and Regulations relating to research using living vertebrate animals. Our Assurance (A3023-01) is approved by the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Our USDA registration number is 14-R-0003. DFCI is also fully accredited with the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International.

The imaging resources at the LFIC include two PerkinElmer IVIS® Spectrum Preclinical In Vivo Imaging Systems, a Bruker BioSpec® 70/30 USR high field MR scanner, a Siemens Inveon® Multi-Modality microSPECT/PET/CT scanner, a FUJIFILM VisualSonics Vevo 770® High-Resolution Imaging System, and a Precision X-Ray X-RAD 225Cx for image-guided radiotherapy. The close proximity of all these imaging settings facilitates the use of registered imaging data from multiple modalities.

The imaging database at LFIC is maintained with the inviCRO iPACS® Imaging Study Management System. All pre-clinical imaging equipment has dedicated acquisition and processing workstation computers with viewing and analysis software, which are networked to online share-drives and the PACS for archiving and retrieval of raw imaging data and DICOM exports.

In addition to conventional cell line xenograft mouse cancer models, this advanced small-animal imaging facility provides models that allow for a better reflection of human cancers (orthotopic, genetically engineered models), serial imaging of the same animal (decreased animal use), the use of molecular and functional imaging to assess drug effects on targets (pharmacodynamics), reduced cost per experiment (fewer animals, shorter experiments), analysis of more drugs in shorter time (enhance drug discovery and translation) and development/validation of imaging endpoints to incorporate into human clinical trials (pharmacodynamic endpoints in early phase clinical trials).