Testimonial Prof. Dr. Joel Karp (USA)

The Small Animal Imaging Facility (SAIF) provides in vivo functional and anatomical imaging and image analysis for cells, tissues, and small animals, primarily mice and rats, but also primates. The assets of the SAIF include state-of-the-art instrumentation and a nationally recognized staff. The lab has a MOLECUBES PET/CT imager installed since June 2017.

Why choose MOLECUBES?

“The high performance made MOLECUBES an obvious choice for us, together with the clever design and excellent engineering. In addition, the option to use the CUBES individually or together was an important factor since our goal was to increase throughput of our small animal imaging facility. The long standing academic relationship with Ghent Group and trust in their capabilities made us take the final decision.”

How would you rate your experience with MOLECUBES?

“Delivery and install were on time as promised and very professional. Training was short and very effective, and users are very pleased with the system. Considering that we have the first CUBES to be installed outside of Ghent it is impressive how reliable they have proven and how effectively MOLECUBES is able to remotely handle a few initial problems.”

What specific feature do you like the most?

“We appreciate the simple and intuitive user menu and operation of each CUBE both separately and together. Using micro CT for attenuation correction and registration with PET is straight-forward. Separate CUBES allows multiple researchers to work simultaneously. Overall the CUBES operate reliably allowing on time scheduling of studies from different UPenn research groups. Finally, MOLECUBES is open and eager to gather users’ input to improve on their current and future features.”

Which Applications do you run on the B-cube?

“We are currently performing a range of studies in rats and mice, both static and long dynamic PET scans with various radiotracers produced from our local cyclotron. In general, we are interested in cancer metabolism and glutamine uptake, inflammation, and studies of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hypoxia and ROS biology.”

Would you choose for benchtop instruments again and why?

“Yes, definitely. The instruments perform very well, and we expect that MOLECUBES will not stand still, but rather that improvements will continue to be made in quantitative accuracy and daily use-ability.”

How often are the instruments used?

“We are ramping up and expect that soon they will be used daily. Last year with our older instruments we scanned approximately 1000 animals. The small animal user base at UPenn is active and excited by the high-end performance of the CUBES and expect these instruments will significantly increase the throughput of our facility.”

Example projects

Investigation of inflammation in osteoarthritis of the jaw performed by Megan Sperry and Beth Winkelstein PhD of the Spine Pain Research Lab and Eric Granquist, DMD, MD, Director, Center for Temporomandibular Joint Disease. ~600 uCi FDG was injected in a rat, a single bed position acquired 1 hr post injection for 15 minutes, registered with a whole body general purpose CT. Selected views from a baseline scan are shown below.

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