About In vivo Imaging

BF Drug Discovery and Chemical Biology

BF Stem Cells and Biomaterials

contact information


Biocenter Finland


NanoSPECT-CT - In vivo imaging core unit



mouse in SPECT/CT


The CDR hosts a nanoSPECT/CT animal scanner, the new generation high performance SPECT/CT dual imaging instrument.

The device started operation in 2010 with combined funding by

The SPECT/CT instrument enables real-time morphological imaging and tracking of radiolabeled substances in rodents at an ultra-high resolution (< 0.5 mm), quantitatively and in 3D.

It is suited for pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic and morphological measurements in rodents. The instrument reduces the number of test animals needed compared to traditional methods.

The state-of-the-art nanoSPECT/CT instrument, manufactured by Bioscan Inc., USA, is the recipient of a Frost & Sullivan Award for Excellence in Technology for Preclinical Imaging.

The use of the instrument is coordinated by the Real-time imaging group (RTI) in Centre for Drug Research.

RTI is offering the following services:

  • offering services to perform the whole experiment or parts of the experiment
  • arranging physicist (Hospital Physicist) expertise in the studies
  • arranging radiochemistry services for the synthesis of tracers for SPECT investigations
  • providing radiopharmacy service for the synthesis of SPECT tracers from commercially available radiolabelling kits 
  • providing maintenance and space for the users’ animals.  Feeding of the animals and logistics for the radioactivity aging of the used animals and carcasses are arranged
  • being responsible for use of radioactive material at the Unit. RTI is taking care of logistics of ordered radioactive material and radioactive waste. Users should have proper education/certificates for handling radioactive material, and valid license for animal experiments

For more information about our commercial imaging services, please contact the Real-time imaging group.

Download  Real-Time Imaging Unit – SPECT/CT (PDF, 856 kb), a RTI white paper  for your help planning to use SPECT/CT imaging in your research.


Bioscan NanoSPECT/CT - Technical details

  • Dual modality preclinical scanner for noninvasive imaging of small animals
  • SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography)
    • Detection of radiolabeled molecules emitting gamma-rays
    • Four large field-of-view broadband NaI(Tl) detectors
    • Multi-multi-pinhole technology
    • High detection sensitivity and spatial resolution (≤0.5mm depending on collimators)
  • CT (computed tomography)
    • Provides anatomical information
    • Low X-ray dose levels (1cGy)
  • Auto-fusion of SPECT and CT images 
  • NanoSPECT/CT
      • Focused or whole body imaging of mice, rats and rabbits
      • Same animals can be followed over time with repeated measurements allowing long-term biodistribution studies and reducing the number of laboratory animals required
      • Energy range: 25-365 keV
      • Radionuclides most commonly used: Tc-99m, In-111, I-123, I-125
      • Possibility to image two radionuclides with different energies simultaneously
      • Pathogen-free imaging chambers with gas anesthesia and temperature control unit (optional: cardiac and respiratory monitoring)
      • Suitable for variety of research applications in oncology, neurology, cardiovascular pharmacology, target discovery and gene expression studies