LI-COR Pearl® Impulse Whole Animal Imaging System Using Near InfraRed Dyes

The Pearl® Impulse Imaging system employs a new CCD-based optical system specifically designed for in vivo imaging in the near-infrared (NIR) spectral region where autofluorescence and light scattering are low. The NIR laser illumination also achieves deeper tissue penetration which permits visualization of targets that are smaller and embedded deeper in tissues. The instrument allows scanning times of 30 seconds or less which minimizes animal stress and increases investigator productivity. The instrument can be used for performing non-invasive imaging of anesthetized animals in vivo to evaluate a variety of biological variables related to disease, the activity and distribution of drugs and the effects of drugs. It is also capable of imaging over dual channels which allows for multiple targets to be sampled in the same subject. An example of the use of the instrument is provided in the article attached to this description.

Overview & Advantages

  • Excellent Sensitivity
  • Fast Imaging
  • Native Cell Compatibility
  • Temperature and Anesthesia Control


  • Small Animal Imaging
  • Receptor Targeting
  • Transporter Targeting
  • Structural Imaging
  • Biodistribution
Pearl® Impulse
Detector TypeCCD. Thermoelectrically cooled.
Scan TimeLess than 30 seconds to complete white light, 700 nm channel and 800 nm channel image acquisition.
700 nm ChannelExcitation 685nm, Emission 720nm
800 nm ChannelExcitation 785nm, Emission 820nm
White ChannelExcitation white, Emission, NA
DyesIRDye® 680, IRDye 700DX, IRDye 800RS, IRDye 800CW, Alexa Fluor 680, Alexa Fluor 750, Cy5.5, Cy7
Resolution85, 170 or 255 micron
Image Display OptionsPseudocolor, grayscale, single color (red, green or blue), or two colors with overlapping fluorescence displayed in a third color.
CapacityOne animal, with linked look-up tables for image normalization
Imaging Bed16.8 cm W x 12 cm D (6.6” W x 4.75” D). Vertical clearance to top of drawer is 3.8 cm (1.5”).
Field of View11.2 cm W x 8.4 cm D (4.4” W x 3.3” D) at surface of imaging bed.
Imaging Bed Temperature Range32-42 °C.
Gas AnesthesiaInlet and outlet ports flow anesthesia gas through a nose cone in the imaging drawer. A rotameter is included for flow rate control.
Acquisition Speed500 ms - 40s
  • Kovar, J et al.
    Hyaluronidase expression induces prostate tumor metastasis in an orthotopic mouse model.
    Am J Pathol. 169(4):1415-26 (2006)

The instrument is currently housed in Rm. 6S11 in the Brody Medical Sciences building. If you are interested in information regarding this item of equipment and its use, please contact Dr. Ethan J. Anderson or Ms. Kathleen Thayne in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Please note that use of the instrument for whole animal imaging requires an approved AUP.