Small Animal Imaging Facility - Services

Equipment

SPECT scanner: A Trionix XLT-9 system is available for small animal imaging. This system offers list-mode acquisition, and pinhole collimation (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 mm) through adaptation of the existing single-pinhole and multi-pinhole collimators that were used previously on a Picker system. Helical pinhole acquisition is available for whole-body studies or enlarged axial field of view. Parallel-beam and fan-beam collimators are available for larger animals.

Small animal PET scanner: A small animal PET scanner (A-PET) is operating in the small animal imaging laboratory, functionally identical to the Philips Mosaic small animal scanner. This system has high spatial resolution (2 mm), with high sensitivity and large transverse imaging field-of-view of 12.8 cm. The imaging aperture is 20 cm and the axial length is 12 cm.

Small animal microCT: A NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant was used to purchase a small animal microCT scanner from ImTek. This system has a spatial resolution of < 50 mm, and provides anatomical images to complement the PET and SPECT data. A CT scan of each animal can be performed routinely, immediately before or after obtaining the functional PET/SPECT data, to provide accurate image registration for anatomical localization and region-of-interest delineation.

Anesthesia system: We operate an isoflurane anesthesia system (VetEquip Inc., Pleasanton, CA) specifically designed for use with small laboratory animals (rats and mice). The system comprises several induction boxes for the safe initial anesthesia of mice, and custom-made nose-cones for maintaining anesthesia throughout the SPECT session. We also monitor animals using a computerized veterinary monitoring system (Vetronics, West Lafayette, IN).

Computers / software: Image data are transferred to a Mac web server and database, with a 1 TB RAID disk, from which users have access to their data. We have commercial analysis software such as Matlab (The Mathworks Inc, Natick, MA), Amira (Indeed Visual Concepts, Germany), Amide (UCLA), and the Statistical Parametric Mapping system (SPM2, University College London).

Cyclotron and radiochemistry facility: The cyclotron facility houses a Japan Steel Works BC3015, 30 MeV cyclotron and an IBA 18 MeV Cyclone machine. The JSW cyclotron is capable of accelerating p, d, 3He, and 4He. Beam currents of 10-20 mA are typical with a maximum current capability of 30-40 mA. We use protons at 22 MeV to produce 11C, 13N and most 18F-labeled tracers, and deuterons at 11 MeV for 15O, 18F-DOPA and E18F-5, (the latter two are produced from 18F gas). The IBA cyclotron provides for higher beam currents than are available on the JSW machine. Specifically, the 18F- production yield increases from 1.5 Ci to 10 Ci and 11C yield increases from 1 Ci to 2.5 Ci, thereby increasing yields of research tracers. While the JSW can only irradiate 1 target at a time, the IBA is capable of irradiating 2 targets simultaneously.

Rates

Equipment Rate
PET $300 per 1/2 day session
SPECT $300 per 1/2 day session
MicroCT $100 per hour

There are a variety of radiotracers available, and an additional charge applies depending upon the particular radiotracer used. Please contact Joel Karp at joelkarp@mail.med.upenn.edu for more information.