: The objective of this application is the purchase of a BioScan NanoSPECT-CT scanner for in vivo small animal scanning. The requested purchase price is $1,063,916. Acquisition of the scanner will fulfill an unmet campus- wide need: high resolution small animal imaging in mice and rats injected with single photon emitting radiotracers. The scanner will permit a distinguished group of 13 NIH funded scientists to more optimally use animal models that have been created over years. A total of 21 NIH grants are supported in areas of neurobiology and neuro-oncology, cardiovascular biology and disease, arthritis, autoimmunity (lupus), oncology, and radiochemistry. Furthermore, we envisage a program in which the scanner will partially fulfill the educational imaging needs of the next generation molecular imagers and radiologists. The scanner was chosen after receiving quotes from the manufacturers. A team of 3 scientists, comprised of the PI (Radiologist- scientist), physicist, and a radiochemist, was formed to primarily evaluate the available commercial scanners. Site visits to installation sites, manufacturer's plants, or virtual demos were conducted for each of the major vendors. Scanner resolution, sensitivity, installed base, and ease of use were the dominant factors after considering the needs of the major users. The BioScan NanoSPECT-CT was considered the best choice for our users. Purchase of the scanner will lead to an immediate creation of 2 new jobs at UT Southwestern. Once investigators successfully use the scanner it is likely new funding will result that might lead to other jobs. The understanding that will result from application of SPECT/CT imaging of models of human disease may potentially lead to new therapies and improved healthcare for the American people.
Small animal models of human diseases are important for advancing understanding of disease pathogenesis and disease treatment. Imaging studies in these animal models are critical for model validation, to follow disease progression, to monitor therapy efficacy, and minimize animal use. Purchasing the scanner will enhance research in these areas, potentially improve healthcare, and lead to creation of two jobs.
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