MicroPET Imaging Lab

 MicroPET Imaging Laboratory

The 400 square feet Imaging Laboratory houses the microPET R4 scanner which is state-of-the-art PET system designed for imaging of small laboratory animals (rats and mice).

The R4 has an excellent spatial resolution of 2x2x2mm FWHM). The design is based on fiber-optic readout of Lutetium Oxyortho-silicate (LSO) scintil-lator elements using compact position sensitive PMT. There are no interplane septa and data is acquired exclusively in 3D mode.

There are currently several projects being conducted on the R4, several of them target the development of new PET tracers to image tumor growth in vivo. The proximity of the 11 MeV cyclotron located adjacent in Children's Hospital of Michigan makes our Imaging Lab well suited to provide investigators with a variety of new and potentially clinically highly relevant tracers. Our radiopharmaceutical chemistry group routinely produces a number of tracers for clinical and research PET studies of tumors.

In addition to the "standard" PET radiopharmaceutical for clinical use, 2[18F] fluoro-2-deoxy-glucose (FDG), a number of other PET tracers are produced routinely by radiochemists in our group for clinical and/or animal research and development purposes. These include a series of fluorine-18 labelled thymidine anlogs. Radiotracers utilized for clinical and animal cancer research at our center include the following:


Tracer Target
2[18F] fluoro-2-deoxy-glucose Glucose metabolism
[11C] acetate Oxidative metabolism
[18F] FLT DNAsynthesis, thymidine analog
[18F]FAU DNA synthesis, thymidine analog
[18F]FMAU DNA synthesis, thymidine analog
[18F]FIAU HSV-TK substrate to image gene transfection
[18F]FLT-BE DNA synthesis, thymidine analog
[18F]FBAU DNA synthesis, thymidine analog
[18F]FBAU-DE DNA synthesis, thymidine analog

Thymidine analog, HSV-TK substrate to image; Gene therapy verification

In addition, our PET Center has long-standing experience with image data processing, kinetic modeling and merging of complementing modalities.

Equipment: In order to provide high quality of image data, the microPET scanner hardware requires periodical maintenance as well as regular software upgrades. Therefore we ask for 25% of the yearly microPET maintenance contract which amounts to $10,000 annually.

Personnel Needs: In order to provide adequate help with data archiving, transfer and analysis, we request 50% salary for a microPET Research Assistant. This amounts to $20,000 annually.