Preclinical Imaging Research

The UCSF Physics Research Laboratory maintains several small animal imaging resources in collaboration with other groups. These imaging resources are housed in the Preclinical Nuclear-Optical Imaging Core Facility at China Basin.

Currently, the List of Small Animal Imaging Systems under This Umbrella Is as Follows

  1. microPET/CT
    Inveon dedicated PET docked with Inveon Multimodality system (CT only) (Siemens Medical Solutions)
  2. microSPECT/CT
    FLEX X-SPECT/X-O (Gamma Medica, Inc.)
  3. Bioluminescence/fluorescence imaging system (IVIS 50, PerkinElmer)
  4. Fluorescence molecular tomography system (FMT 2500, PerkinElmer)

We have a video presentation of the introduction to our microPET/SPECT/CT and optical imaging core (through the Core Technology seminar series on September 27, 2012)

In addition, for most small animal imaging applications, we work closely with the small animal MRI facility at China Basin.

All SPECT/PET/CT/Optical/MRI imaging procedures can be performed as IACUC/LARC Standard Procedures Imaging with SPECT/PET/CT in Mice and Rats, Optical Imaging in Mice and Rats, and MR Imaging (small animals).  UCSF RIO has a direct link (a button to check) to these imaging SOPs while creating a new/revised IACUC protocol. 

"Mohawk" SPECT/CT scanner built on a slip-ring gantry

• Note: PET, SPECT, and CT can be operated separately as a standalone modality.
• Approximate spatial resolutions for these imaging systems:SPECT: ~<1 mm (generally lower sensitivity than PET)
• PET: ~>1-2 mm (high sensitivity up to 10% at the center of FOV)
• CT: ~20-300 micron (variable depending on the scanner and acquisition parameters)



Sample microPET/CT image (normal rat - 18F-FMROT overlaid on CT)


Sample microSPECT/CT movie (99mTc-HMPAO SPECT overlaid on CT)

Sample microCT image (vasculature of a mouse brain, partially filled with barium sulfate - 11 micron pixel size)

mouse brain vasculature