This revised proposal requests funds to purchase a VECTor/CT/OI small- and medium-size animal imaging device that integrates SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography), PET (positron emission tomography), CT (transmission computed tomography), and tomographic OI (optical imaging) in an integrated instrument (MILabs; Utrecht, Netherlands). This state-of-the-art instrument will be the first and only three- dimensional (3D) animal imaging system available on the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) campus in Newark, NJ. The VECTor/CT/OI will serve a critical need to advance the research of the NJMS faculty, as well as faculty at other schools and research entities on the Newark campus of Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences (RBHS), including the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine (SoDM) and Rutgers School of Health Professions (SHP), Rutgers Public Health Research Institute, Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ), faculty from other nearby universities including Rutgers University-Newark and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and faculty from other Rutgers schools and campuses. This instrument will be instrumental in advancing research being conducted in the fields of cancer, orthopaedics, neurology, cardiology, immunology, infectious diseases, radiology and more. The SPECT and PET capability bring three-dimensional (3D) imaging of physiological processes, tracking of infectious diseases, pharmacokinetics and targeting of drugs, all fused with an exquisitely detailed anatomic 3D image created by ultra-high resolution CT. The OI capability will replace our aging two- dimensional IVIS 200 imaging device with state-of-the art 3D tomographic capability and the optical images can be fused with other modalities. The VECTor also adds a fourth dimension of time with the capability to do dynamic PET, SPECT, and CT, a key feature for studies in cardiology and other fields. A key feature of this instrument is the ability of its major components (PET/SPECT, CT, OI) to operate simultaneously for fusion imaging or independently of the others if the need arises. We have numerous funded projects with scientific plans in place to use the VECTor/CT/OI. We also have well-established technical and scientific expertise to fully and immediately utilize this instrument upon its installation and a highly efficient administrative and financial infrastructure in place to support and maintain this instrument for effective long-term use.
The VECTor/CT/OI small- and medium-sized animal scanner that features PET (positron emission tomography), SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography), CT (transmission computed tomography), and OI (optical imaging tomography) will, for the first time, bring these state-of-the-art imaging modalities to a large cadre of NIH funded investigators at Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences ? Newark. The scanner will play a critical role in basic research and pre-clinical development of novel therapeutic treatments for a variety of diseases and debilitating conditions. The long-term impact of such work will be to greatly expedite the clinical translation of promising new agents for diagnosis and treatment of these conditions, and ultimately reduce the mortality, morbidity, and financial costs of the many diseases being investigated by our scientists.