Bindley Bioscience Center

Dr. Freek J Beekman presents: SPECT/PET of Molecules and Organs in Action at sub millimeter resoluti

November 8 @ 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM - Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, room 129

Pivotal questions in pharmacology and biology concern how function of localized cells relates to disease. For example in experimental neuroscience we have dreamt about a magnifying glass that would allow us to see neurotransmitters in action, in cardiovascular research about a system that would provide us simultaneously with myocardial anatomy, mechanical function and cell function, and in cancer research to see detailed dynamic distributions of pharmaceuticals and markers, in small animals serving as models for human disease. Such studies have been limited by the availability of methods to study such molecular dynamics. A Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography system called U-SPECT has been developed in The Netherlands. It can quantify tracer dynamics in <0.35mm structures e.g. in murine brain, heart and tumors.

U-SPECT uses sophisticated focusing pinhole geometries together with unique 3D focusing technology and list mode data acquisition. Novel reconstruction methods that enable to enhance resolution are applied, accelerated by pixel-based block iterative update schemes.

Examples include imaging the density and occupancy of dopamine transporters in sub-compartments of the brain, sub-half-mm resolution dynamic myocardial perfusion imaging or imaging of tumor markers and anti-cancer agents (e.g. antibodies) in micro-metastasis, all during a range of points in time. Applied to different models of disease this will aid our understanding of dynamic processes that underlie tissue functions and human pathology. New sub-half-mm resolution U-SPECT-II and U-SPECT/CT images and movies with sub-minute resolution will be shown.

Recently Dr. Beekman’s group developed a new way to perform U-SPECT imaging and sub-mm PET simultaneously (!). This new device (VECTor: Versatile Emission Computed Tomograpy, www.milabs.com) is based on a proprietary clustered multi-pinhole technology.

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