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MobiPET: A mobile, small animal PET scanner for molecular imaging

English title MobiPET: A mobile, small animal PET scanner for molecular imaging
Applicant Schibli Roger
Number 157763
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Zentrum für Radiopharmazeutische Wissenschaften ETH, PSI, USZ ETH Hönggerberg
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Experimental Cancer Research
Start/End 01.03.2015 - 29.02.2016
Approved amount 200'000.00
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Keywords (5)

Positron Emission Tomography (PET); Molecular imaging; Mobile PET scanner; Theranostics; PET tracers

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
PET (Positronenemissionstomographie) ist ein unverzichtbares Werkzeug in der Erforschung dynamischer und pathologischer Prozesse geworden. hat von allen bildgebenden Verfahren die höchste Empfindlichkeit. Das heute Konzept bei PET ist: Das Tier wird zum Scanner gebracht. Dies kann insbesondere bei Langzeitstudien zu Problemen bei der Unterbringung der Tiere führen (u.a. Kapazität und Hygienestatus). Mit dem Projekt „MobiPET“ schlagen wir ein neues Konzept vor: Wir bringen den Scanner zum Tier. Dies erlaubt die Durchführung von PET-Studien in den Einrichtungen der jeweiligen Forschungsgruppe. Mehrere Vorteile ergeben sich daraus: i) Die Tiere müssen nicht mehr zwischen Forschungslabors hin und her transportiert werden; ii) Die Haltung der Tiere wird erleichtert; iii) Für Langzeitstudien müssen keine zusätzlichen Tierkohorten für das PET gebildet werden. Dies reduziert die Anzahl der Tiere pro Versuch. MobiPET passt deshalb sehr gut in das 3R-Konzept (Reduce-Refine-Replace).
Lay summary

Das heute gängige Konzept bei präklinischen PET Untersuchungen ist: Das Tier wird zum Scanner gebracht. Dies kann insbesondere bei Langzeitstudien zu Problemen bei der Unterbringung der Tiere führen (u.a. Kapazität und Hygienestatus).  Das Verschieben der Tiere zwischen verschieden Labors vor und nach dem Scannen ist keine Alternative, da es mit Stress für die Tiere verbunden ist und zu unerwünschten, experimentellen Artefakten führen kann.

Mit dem Projekt „MobiPET“ schlagen wir ein neues Konzept vor: Wir bringen den Scanner zum Tier. Dies erlaubt die Durchführung von PET-Studien in den Einrichtungen der jeweiligen Forschungsgruppe. Ermöglicht wird dieses neue Konzept durch die Anschaffung eines robusten, kompakten und leichten PET-Scanner (GENISYS4), der problemlos transportiert werden kann. Mehrere Vorteile ergeben sich daraus: i) Die Tiere müssen nicht mehr zwischen Forschungslabors hin und her transportiert werden; ii) Die Haltung der Tiere wird erleichtert; iii) Für Langzeitstudien (z.B. Therapiestudien) müssen keine zusätzlichen Tierkohorten für das PET gebildet werden. Dies hilft, die Anzahl der Tiere pro Versuch zu reduzieren und robuster Forschungsdaten zu generieren. MobiPET passt deshalb sehr gut in das 3R-Konzept ("Reduce- Refine-Replace"). Mehrere Gruppen der ETH, der Universität Zürich und Basel, und Universitätsspital Zürich haben Forschungsprojekte in den Bereichen Onkologie, Neurologie und Diabetes/Ernährung eingereicht, die MobiPET verwenden werden.aus logistischen und technischen Gründen erschwert ist.

MobiPET eröffnet PET-Bildgebung für eine breite Forschungsgemeinschaft im Grossraum Zürich und darüber hinaus. Zugleich bietet das Zentrum für Radiopharmazeutische Wissenschaften (vertreten durch den Hauptgesuchsteller Prof. Schibli) ein großes Portfolio an PET-Tracern für präklinische Studien.  Die Gesuchsteller sind überzeugt, dass das Konzept – falls erfolgreich – national und international Schule machen wird und weiter akademische und industrielle Zusammenarbeiten stimuliert.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 02.02.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Bernd Pichler / Uni Tübingen Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Zeilhofer/Uni ZH Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. John Prior/CHUV Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Dr. Philipp Kaufmann/USZ Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Christoph Hock / Uni ZH Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Prof. N. Schäfer/USZ Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Christian Wolfrum/ ETH Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions MobiPET: A new concept for decentralized, molecular imaging using the G8 system International 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
136197 Improving human muscle engineering by PGC-1alpha expression and molecular imaging using positron emission tomography (PET) 01.01.2012 Sinergia
156800 Translational molecular imaging of neuroendocrine tumours using innovative PET radionuclides 01.04.2015 India
136203 The interplay between innate and adaptive tumor-specific immune responses induced through local tumor therapy in skin cancer 01.11.2011 Sinergia
189776 SAFIR - From the Prototype to the Full-Scale Scanner 01.09.2020 R'EQUIP
198274 Development of a Radioligand for ACE2 PET Imaging - A Tool to Investigate the Expression and Regulation of the SARS-CoV-2 Entry Receptor 01.10.2020 NRP 78 Covid-19
146204 The role for Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Non-receptor Type 2 in regulating the differentiation of CD4+, naive T-cells during chronic intestinal inflammation 01.04.2013 Project funding (special)
140926 Formation and origin of inducible brown adipocytes 01.07.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
146385 Neuartige radioaktiv-markierte Peptidomimetika für Tumor Targeting 01.04.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
143991 Age-associated and therapy-induced alterations in the cellular microenvironment of experimental gliomas and their role for resistance to therapy 01.01.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
146213 Interferon-ß-basierte Strategien zur Ueberwindung der Therapieresistenz des Glioblastoms unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Tumorstammzellen 01.07.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
152360 Novel routes to 18F-labelled amino acids and vitamin derivatives useful for non-invasive, nuclear imaging of oncological and neurodegenerative diseases 01.05.2014 SCOPES
144060 Targeting of Ionizing Radiation-Activated Treatment Resistances: Radiation-Induced Para- and Autocrine Factors 01.02.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Background: Non-invasive methods to study dynamic biologic and pathologic processes in small-animals have become indispensable tools in research as well as drug discovery and development. PET (positron emission tomography) has the highest sensitivity among all non-invasive imaging techniques and is ideal for studying processes in live animals. The Center for Radiopharmaceutical Sciences (CRS) was the first laboratory in Switzerland that implemented a dedicated small-animal PET scanner for pre-clinical research (located at the Animal Imaging Center ETH Hönggerberg). The scanner is used for numerous projects within the CRS but also for collaborations with academic and industrial partners. However, in the greater Zurich area there are many more groups interested in using PET for their research but only one PET/CT scanner is available. There are technical, infrastructural hurdles as well as legal boundaries from the Veterinary Office that currently limit the access and attractiveness of PET many groups. Last but not least, current small animal PET scanners are expensive and possess a large footprint. Working hypothesis: World-wide the most common concept of small animal PET is: Bring the animals to the scanner. This implies that the small animal PET scanner is close to radiosynthesis laboratories producing the PET tracers (preferably close to the cyclotron producing the short-lived radionuclides such as 11C and 18F). The animals to be scanned are transported to the PET facilities. However, performing experiment at different sites creates higher costs and can lead to unwanted experimental artifacts in addition to the critical issues mentioned above.With MobiPET we propose a new concept: We will bring the scanner to the animals. It will allow performing PET studies in the facilities of the respective research group. The concept is encouraged and facilitated by the availability of a novel bench-top PET scanner (GENISYS4), which is significantly smaller, more robust and lighter than other PET scanners. Furthermore, its radioactive detectors are extremely sensitive (at least by a factor two compared to current scanners), requiring minimal amounts of radioactivity injected into the animals. The system comes with an integrated animal management system and a user-friendly software package. These features are prerequisites for a mobile, multi-user PET scanner for pre-clinical research.Several advantages arise from our concept: i) Animals will no longer have to be transported between research sites. Thus, problems arising from differences of hygiene levels between the host and the imaging facility are irrelevant; ii) Because the animals do not leave the host facility they are less stressed and their husbandry is facilitated; iii) For longitudinal studies (e.g. therapy studies) animal cohorts do not have to be spilt into those, which are scanned (externally) and the regular study cohort. This helps to reduce the number of animals required per experiment. Thus, MobiPET complies with the 3R-concept (“Reduce-Refine-Replace”) for animal experiments.With this proposal we seek for funding for a new small animal PET scanner, which can readily be transported form one facility/laboratory/institute to another and thus, allows on-site PET imaging. Expected value of the proposal: MobiPET opens non-invasive PET imaging for a broad research community interested in PET in the greater Zurich area (but not limited to) at an affordable price. At the same time CRS offers a large portfolio of PET tracers for preclinical studies and is constantly developing novel tracers. Several groups from the ETH, the University of Zurich and Basel, the University Hospital Zurich have immediately expressed their interest and submitted cutting edge research projects, which would greatly benefit from MobiPET, along with this proposal. The main applicants expect that MobiPET will on one hand lead to an expansion of the PET imaging activities in the greater Zurich area and on the other hand will stimulate the development of new tracers through collaborations with new academic and industrial partners.
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