microSPECT Instrument now available at Harvard Medical School


The Joint Program in Nuclear Medicine in collaboration with the Radiology Departments at HMS, BWH, BIDMC and CH have purchased, under an NIH shared-instrumentation research grant a high performance, multiscale, single-photon emission computed tomographic (SPECT) scanner that is finding increasing use by researchers at Harvard Medical School (HMS), the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), and the adjacent HMS-affiliated teaching hospitals for imaging animals ranging in size from transgenic mice to large primates, as well as for physics research on new imaging techniques.  The TRIONIX XLT-20 system consists of a large field-of-view (FOV) triple-head SPECT instrument with enhanced capability, through the addition of multiple pinhole collimators, for high-resolution (< 1 mm FWHM) imaging of rodents.  This instrument provides basic biomedical researchers with the ability to image three-dimensional distributions of long-half-life radionuclides, as well as the capability, unique to SPECT, for simultaneous imaging of dual isotopes.


The scanner is located adjacent to a 4.7T research MR animal imager, facilitating fusion of the SPECT images and MR images, and in close proximity to the Rodent Histopathology Core Facility of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.  Also adjoining the SPECT facility are the radiobiology and radiopharmaceutical chemistry groups, comprised of researchers who can radiolabel ligands with the required single-photon emitters, as well as a SPECT physics research group who ensure state-of-the art quantitative SPECT imaging, customized for the users, by developing application-specific reconstruction algorithms, new correction methods, and new collimation tailored to certain biomedical imaging applications.  The initial users of our research SPECT facility are pursuing basic studies of molecular biology and genetics, development of new techniques for diagnosis and treatment of cancer, research on new radiopharmaceuticals for SPECT and positron emission tomographic (PET) imaging, basic studies of pulmonary physiology, research on Parkinson's disease and neurotransmission disorders, and development and testing of new techniques of correcting for systematic effects that can adversely affect the clarity and quantitative accuracy of SPECT images.


Harvard Medical School

Goldenson Building

Rm 142


To contact us:

Ashfaq Mahmood, Ph.D., Experimental Nuclear Medicine

Phone: 617 432 3995

Email: ashfaq.mahmood@hms.harvard.edu


Robert E. Zimmerman, Technical Director

Phone: 617 732 7196

E-mail: zimmer@bwh.harvard.edu