Preclinical imaging gains momentum

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              Manjula Puthenedam

Improved product capabilities of preclinical animal imaging systems and the increasing acceptance of imaging as a standard in preclinical animal research are expected to bolster that market until 2016 in U.S., according to a recent report.

Preclinical imaging also is gaining momentum in Europe with the recent launch of a three year preparatory phase for bench to bedside imaging project, Euro-BioImaging. The project brings together key research areas from basic biological imaging and molecular imaging to the clinical and epidemiological level of medical imaging.

Molecular imaging makes it possible to perform repeated noninvasive measurements in vivo, which not only reduce the numbers of animals in preclinical studies, but also allow the status of an animal before and after disease-modulating intervention to be compared directly. For example, a study published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, demonstrated the feasibility and usefulness of 18F-FDG joint uptake for in vivo quantification and monitoring of synovial inflammation in a mouse model of arthritis.

Another study in the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine Molecular Imaging showed that preclinical PET imaging using PEGylated RGD dimers is reproducible with relatively low variability making it useful for monitoring antiangiogenic therapy response or for drug screening.

In other features, a study published in BMC Immunology used PET imaging to study dendritic cell vaccine trafficking in vivo up to seven days of immunization in a mouse strain susceptible to fungal infection, coccidioidomycosis.

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Manjula Puthenedam, PhD
Associate Editor, Molecular Imaging Insight