For the greater part of the last century, basic science research has been limited to in vitro studies of cellular processes and ex vivo tissue examination from suitable animal models of disease. In the last three decades, however, new techniques have been developed that permit the imaging of live animals using X-rays, radiotracer emissions, magnetic resonance signals, sound waves and optical fluorescence, and bioluminescence. The objective of this review is to provide a broad overview of common animal imaging modalities, with a focus on positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and computed tomography (CT). Important examples, benefits, and limits of microPET/SPECT/CT technologies in current use, and their central role in improving our understanding of biological behavior and in facilitating the development of treatments from bench to bedside are included.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine