Animal Imaging

Animal imaging in preclinical studies is used to visualize changes at organs, tissue or at a molecular level during drug development. Imaging modalities like micro-PET, MRI and CT allow non-invasive longitudinal studies of animal models.

We are a member of the BMBF network project "Molecular Imaging in Medicine (MoBiMed) - Mechanism of targeting Angiogenesis for Diagnostics and Therapy" funded by the german government. Our part in this research project consortium is concerned with imaging applications of tumor angiogenesis. Using multi-modal acquisition techniques, tumor growth and marker specificity is evaluated and analysed.

For this project, we have developed an imaging platform for pre-clinical animal studies. It allows the visualization and processing of DICOM or proprietary animal image formats of different in-vivo scanners. It also supports tumor segmentation and fusion techniques for different modalities.

Features
  • Automatic and semi-automatic tumor segmentation
  • 4D ROI propagation
  • SUV analysis
  • Plot SUV curves
  • Export to office (generic csv)
  • Image visualization platform
  • Supports DICOM, mhd (raw), hdr and many more image formats
  • Implementation of custom specific image reader on request
  • Rigid and non-rigid image registration
  • Fusion of PET, MR, CT and SPECT animal images
  • Multi-modal ROI propagation; transfer a ROI to another image or modality
  • Image database manager to organize your studies
Examples and Applications

Tumor Segmentation

The blue contour in the top images shows a segmented tumor in a PET image. A single click inside the tumor is sufficient to compute a ROI of the tumor for an automated 4-D SUV analysis.
  • Generate a 3-D ROI of the tumor with a single click
  • Allows ROI refinement by the user
  • Create the tumor ROI inside the PET image and use it for a quantitative analysis in another modality like FBP reconstruction
  • Evaluate your study in minutes using automatic tumor segmentation and SUV measurement
  • Accelerate your research
  • Propagate a 3-D ROI through a temporal image sequence
  • Imaging of tumor angiogenesis
  • Analyze tumor growth and marker specificity

Automated SUV Analysis

The left plot shows a comparison between a manual- and an automated tumor segmentation used for a SUV analysis. The tumor ROI is used to compute mean  standardized uptake values in a 4-D PET image. Each single curve represents an average of three different animal studies. The specificity of the radiopharmaceutical is evaluated by comparing a control to a blocking angiogenesis study. The manual anti-angiogenesis study takes several hours, while the automated evaluation takes only minutes providing comparable results.