Disrupting Molecular Imaging: Quarter-mm SPECT and Simultaneous Sub-mm PET-SPECT with Translation to Game-Changing Clinical SPECT

Dr. Freek Beekman
Head of Radiation, Detection & Medical Imaging at TU Delft University; Founder and CEO/CSO, MI Labs
Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 1:00pm
Pharmacy Building Room 1210
Special Seminar
Pivotal questions in biomedical research concern how function of localized cells relates to disease and how these can be visualized and affected by external molecules in vivo in mice and men. In biomedical preclinical research we have dreamt about a magnifying glass that would allow us to e.g. see neurotransmitters in action, that would simultaneously quantify mechanical function, perfusion and various local cell functions in the heart, and in cancer research for (simultaneous) detailed dynamic distributions of pharmaceuticals and indicators of tumor response. In recent years many groups have been involved in the development of pinhole imaging SPECT systems for imaging rodents. At MILabs and TU-Delft, a ultra-high resolution Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (USPECT-CT) has been developed that can quantify tracer dynamics in < quarter mm structures, enable low dose imaging (sub-MBq), or visualize extremely fast tracer dynamics (sub-second time frames) by developing highly advanced imaging geometries, novel image acquisition and reconstruction. In addition, VECTor, a device to perform sub-mm Positron Emission Tomography (PET) simultaneous with SPECT was developed, based on a new clustered multi-pinhole technology. It also enables for the first time high energy SPECT at sub-mm resolution of theranostic isotopes to real time monitor and steer cancer therapy. In this presentation, several scientific results recorded by world-wide users of USPECT/CT and VECTor/CT will be shown, such as ultra-high resolution images of glucose and density and occupancy of transporters/receptors in the brain, extremely detailed in vivo images of myocardial perfusion (simultaneous with metabolism and mechanical function), tumor markers, anti-cancer agents (e.g. antibodies) as well as imaging very low amounts of cells or molecules during a range of points in time. In addition, multimodal platforms combining SPECT, PET, MRI, CT, bioluminescence and fluorescence will be discussed, and the first steps made to translate MILabs technology into G-SPECT (WMIS Innovation of the Year 2015), an Ultra-fast, Ultra-high resolution < 3mm resolution clinical imaging system that is expected to change the game of clinical molecular imaging.
Centre for Pharmaceutical Oncology