Centre for In Vivo Imaging



We harness the power of IVIS by developing novel bioluminescent tracers to study tissue injury and repair processes in the intact animal.

IVIS spectrum is a 3D optical imaging system that allows non-invasive, real-time longitudinal monitoring of disease progression and therapeutic responses.

Imaging liver fibrogenesis

The generation of fluorophores, which facilitate near infrared labelling of proteins, have made possible identification and validation of novel targets with in vivo disease models.

Liver fibrosis, regardless of aetiology follows a common course:

repeated epithelial cell damage → chronic inflammation  scar cell activation and persistence  fibrosis

A central event in fibrosis progression is the activation of scar forming cells, Hepatic Myofibroblasts (HM).

We have used a fluorescently labelled single chain antibody which recognises HM in conjunction with optical imaging technology to monitor the process of liver fibrosis in vivo in liver fibrosis models. 

Cell tracking

Genetic manipulation of cells lines to express the luciferase reporter gene has allowed researches at Newcastle to use in vivo bioluminescent imaging to monitor physiological processes in real time. This includes:

  • cell tracking
  • longitudinal tumour cell growth
  • disease progression
  • assessing the response to therapy

Multimodality in vivo imaging

Every imaging modality has inherent advantages and disadvantages. Optical imaging lacks anatomical localisation. That is why we are developing multimodal methods to image subjects sequentially on different imaging platforms so that maximum information can be obtained to answer a biological question.

Functional abnormalities obtained with in vivo fluorescent imaging (IVIS) can be accurately anatomically localised with Computerised Tomography (CT).

These studies are conducted using our IVIS spectrum system.