Awake Animal Imaging at BNL

Application/instrumentation: Awake Animal Imaging at BNL - micro PET
Developed at: BNL
Developed in: 2002- current
Result of NP research: Basic NP research - Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider
Application currently being supported by: DOE BER, academia, industrial partners, medical school partners
Impact/benefit to spin-off field: Improved sensitivity and resolution for medical imaging
The Biomedical Engineering program which is part of the Center for Translational Neuroimaging focused on the development of new imaging instruments. It is driven by an interdisciplinary team of Scientists in several Brookhaven Departments and Divisions (Chemistry, Medical, Physics, Instrumentation) in collaboration with scientists from Stony Brook University and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

The first major project is the development of a PET instrument to image the brain of an awake rat. This will be a major advance in preclinical imaging of the brain in that it will allow imaging without anesthesia which is currently required to prevent movement and which produces profound effects on brain function. With this instrument (called the ratCAP, rat Conscious Animal PET), the animal wears the tomograph directly attached to the skull, to eliminate the relative motion between the tomograph and the head. This full-ring tomograph (with LSO detectors, Avalanche Photodiodes (APD) and miniature Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)) fits on the rat's head and is counter-weighted to facilitate movement of the animal.

Other BME projects underway include: the development of a new volumetric PET detector and a wrist detector for input function determination; motion tracking for awake animals and subsequent image correction in both PET and MRI; simultaneous PET-MRI imaging; research on MR acoustics and novel optical imaging probes.

In the picture above, part of the Awake Animal Imaging team (L to R): Sudeepti Southekal, Paul Vaska, Sepideh Shokouhi and Craig Woody