Single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) has wide applicability in modern bioscience. It is based on detecting a radioactive labelled tracer in the body of a small animal (rodent) in time in vivo in an non-invasive manner. It is one of the most powerful methods to visualize distribution and elimination of drugs in the body and to study drug-targeting methods aiming at tissue specific drug delivery, including gene transfer in vivo. It can be used to monitor status of lesions in disease models, in vivo receptor binding kinetics, tumour growth and eradication by treatment, metabolic activity of the tissues, and survival and fate of transplanted cells. Important advantages of this technology are, on one hand, the lack of limits in tissue depth for detection, the versatility of radiotracers’ chemistry, and the commercial availability of relatively large number of radiopharmaceuticals for widespread applications. Surpassed in detection limits only by fluorescence-based methods, which can detect tracers at concentrations almost to 2 or 3 orders of magnitude lower than SPECT, but do not offer high quantitation, linearity or enough tissue depth, which is true in the case of SPECT. The combination of SPECT with CT, makes accurate anatomic localisation of the tracer and offers 3-D imaging capability. SPECT/CT has the benefit to image the entire body in real time, in vivo, longitudinally in the same animal, which translates not only in ethical convenience and statistical effectiveness, but also in better cost-effectiveness compared with other non-imaging classical strategies.
|Nimi||In vivo small animal SPECT/CT Imaging Laboratory|
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