Molecular imaging techniques aim to characterise and quantify biological processes at the molecular and cellular levels, facilitating a repetitive, non-invasive, uniform, and relatively automated study of the same living subject using identical or alternative biological imaging assays at different time points. The statistical power of longitudinal studies is therefore harnessed, and the number of animals required and costs incurred are reduced. Combining techniques using multimodality (PET-CT, optical imaging-CT, and ultrasound) allows pathophysiological changes in early disease phases to be detected with high structural resolution. Other advantages include the ability to interrogate the whole body and to visualise the molecular target of interest in 3D space.
The services offered to CNIO researchers by the Molecular Imaging Unit cover different technologies to non-invasively and repetitively image targeted macromolecules in living organisms.