Small Animal Imaging Labs Small Animal Imaging Labs

Unique and comprehensive suite for non-invasive animal imaging, creating holistic preclinical models of diseases

The Small Animal Imaging Labs (SAIL) Platform is one of the Centre for Translational Biology (CTB) Technology Platforms at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). It is a world-class non-invasive in vivo imaging facility, creating holistic preclinical models of diseases for biomedical researchers.

The SAIL Platform provides imaging equipment and services to facilitate the translational research studies of our industrial and academic clients. The platform offers expertise in planning, designing and executing in vivo imaging studies, image analysis and training.

Dedicated housing is available for mice and rats undergoing longitudinal imaging studies. Ancillary facilities and resources of the SAIL Platform are devoted to image processing and analysis, animal surgery and radiochemistry. The platform provides expertise in planning in vivo imaging studies, consultation and training.

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Applications and services

Below are typical applications performed in the SAIL Platform:

  • Brain imaging
    Anatomy, cortical thickness, microstructure, angiography, cerebral tumours, neuro-degeneration, stroke, brain activity
  • Oncology
    Tumour volume, glucose uptake, metabolic state, metastasis detection, therapy assessment, tumour perfusion
  • Structural imaging
    Bone anatomy, lung and airways, musculo-skeletal, kidney, ureter, bladder, implants, heart
  • Drug biodistribution
    Pharmacokinetic modeling of radiolabeled compounds

The SAIL Platform conducts:

  • 7T MRI
    Structural and functional imaging; 30cm bore
  • PET and SPECT
    Metabolic activity and biodistribution; up to ~500µm resolution (SPECT)
  • CT
    Structural imaging; up to 20µm resolution
  • GAIT assessment tools
  • Unforced locomotion, 50+ gait metrics on mice and rats, large range of applications
  • Sleep analysis
    Non-invasive, easy-to-use, precise and accurate, standard cage environment


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“Biospective has been working closely with the team at the RI-MUHC SAIL Platform for over three years. The platform and the extensive range of equipment available make a significant contribution to both our research as well as our corporate objectives. We continue to have a productive and fruitful collaboration, and we sincerely appreciate the professionalism shown by the staff, and the fact that they are always available to help us push forward our projects.”

— Simone Zehntner, PhD, Biospective

“The SAIL Platform provided us with high-quality MRI and PET-CT images. This friendly team was attentive to our needs and significantly contributed to the progress and publication of our research. We expect to use their service again in the future!”

— Mathilde Chevin, CR-CHUM

“During the last three years, we have experienced an excellent and fruitful collaborative effort from the SAIL Platform for our in vivo small animal imaging research testing of new F-18 and C-11 based PET tracers. Well organized, highly skilled personnel resulted in high-quality data that were published in two papers so far. Flexibility and efficiency describe this team.”

— Daniil Petrenyov, CR-CHUM

Contact us

Contact the SAIL Platform to discuss your research needs. We welcome your inquiries!

Open Position

Platform Manager

Barry J. Bedell, MD, PhD
Barry J. Bedell, MD, PhD


Centre for Translational Biology Technology Platforms

The CTB Technology Platforms provide access to state-of-the-art technologies and instrumentation as well as top-level scientific expertise and training. Watch the video, explore the links below, and prepare to accelerate your research!



Explore research at the RI-MUHC