Small Animal Nuclear Imaging
Nuclear imaging represents the “gold-standard” of molecular imaging techniques and requires the administration of an isotope labeled imaging agent. The Center is licensed to handle several isotopes for chelation to antibodies, proteins, peptides, etc.; for labeling viruses, cells, and other particles in order to image in vivo trafficking; and for generation of exogenously administered probes to image gene reporters in vivo.
Nuclear imaging offers exquisite sensitivity of femto- to pico-molar sensitivities and additionally provides avenues for clinical translation since scintigraphy, SPECT, and PET are clinically utilized imaging modalities.
Scintigraphy is the process of acquiring a single, two dimensional planar projection of detected photon events that result from the decay of radiotracers. Scintigraphy has low resolution and is generally associated with image detection tasks, i.e., the determination of the presence or absence of diseased tissues.
Tomography consists of acquiring a series of two dimensional planar projections to mathematically reconstruct a three-dimensional image detailing the location of radiotracer deposition. There are two types of tomography available in the Frensley Imaging Center: micro-single photon emission computed tomography (micro-SPECT) and positron emission tomography (micro-PET).