The integration of the SETE (Moulis Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station) in AnaEE France has enabled it to extend its range of services in the field of small animals phenotyping by acquiring and commissioning a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device in a suitable laboratory environment. One of the advantages of this technology is that it is possible to examine in virtual cuts in the three dimensions of space the internal structures of the organisms - especially the soft tissues - in a non-invasive way. The measurements can therefore be repeated over time on the same individual without effect on it and possibly pursued on its progeny. It is therefore a technique essential to the study of variations of internal traits during the organisms' development and their transmission and evolution from generation to generation.
Presentation of the device
The SETE MRI has a powerful magnet of 4.7 Tesla that allows the acquisition of high-resolution images. In partnership with the manufacturer MR Solutions Ltd., the SETE is currently developing a range of coils of various sizes and shapes suitable for a wide range of animals, including aquatic animals, plants and even objects with a diameter of less than 7 Cm. The system is also equipped with a spectroscope (SMR) to analyze the dosage and composition of metabolites.
With MRI requiring total immobility throughout the examination, the device can be coupled to a sedation / gas anesthesia monitoring system. The SETE also has the infrastructure and skills to adapt the restraint of the animal to the welfare of many species.
A roach (Ruse rutilis) endo-parasitized by a cestode. This worm, up to 25 cm long, is detectable non-invasively for the host only at an advanced stage of development when it causes deformities visible externally to the host's abdomen. MRI allows to characterize the parasite load very early and to monitor its evolution and its effects on the organism.
Contact : Olivier GUILLAUME, Reserach engineer at the SETE, Responsible of the MRI Service, olivier.guillaume[at]sete.cnrs.fr