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Experimental Imaging

The in vivo imaging platform includes an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and a PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography) dedicated to small animals, mainly rodents (mice and rats). Morphological imaging through MicroIRM and the functional imaging by use of MicroPET/CT provides considerable information in a rather broad area, such as the effects of a drug, a therapeutic treatment or intoxication or the effects of an injury and the evolution of the latter linked to its effects. With regards to the MRI, images are performed at 7 T in a horizontal bore magnet (Bruker, Biospec, Ettlingen, Germany). It’s a painless and noninvasive imaging procedure that enables longitudinal studies through the follow-up of the same animal. Our dedicated MRI coils allow animals’ whole body imaging. In particular, cerebral imaging is realized by use of surface coil whereas a volume coil is used when thorax or abdomen is imaged. Our 7-T MRI can acquire a broad range of clinical techniques, such as diffusion imaging, perfusion imaging with our without contrast agent, T1 and T2 weight anatomic images, susceptibility weighted image (SWI), spectroscopy…

With regards to the MicroPET/CT (Inveon, Siemens, Germany), the procedure for image acquisition requires the injection of a radiotracer either intravenously (generally through the tail vein) or intra-peritoneally. The tracer is diluted in saline, the injection is painless and very short and the stress is minimized by vasodilation of tail veins using a heat lamp. After injection, the animal is returned to its cage with free access to food and water (except in case of metabolic studies which require fasting) during the tracer biodistribution (0-120 min). At the time of imaging acquisition, the animal is anesthetized with isoflurane (1.5% mixed with 1 L/min O2) and installed on the bed of the MicroPET/CT. Image acquisition can be static or dynamic. At the end of the acquisition, anesthesia is discontinued and the animal is repositioned in its cage, with access to water and food.

MRI and PET/CT data are reconstructed and analyzed. The outcoming images can be fused so as to have a visual correlation of functional anatomy.

Our collaborations are international (D. Anthony, UK; De Reuck Belgium) as well as within France (in loco - R. Bordet (EA1046), L. Buée ( Insem U837) or ex-loco D.Béchet from Nancy (CNRS U7039).

MRI 7T (Bruker, Biospec, Ettlingen, Germany)
MicroPET/CT (Siemens, Inveon, Germany)

Axial and coronal views of MRI-PET/CT
fused images of an ischemia rat brain.
From C. Delattre, M. Bastide and R. Bordet
(EA1046. Lille)

Glioma in rat brain
Top row: axial and coronal views of MRI images
Bottom row: axial and coronal views of MRI-PET/ CT fused images
From D. Béchet and M. Barberi from Nancy (CNRS, UMR 7039)


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