Department of Energy Lab Develops Way to Image Moving Subjects

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Using motion compensation reconstruction technology to remove the blur caused when subjects being imaged move during scanning, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory successfully captured images of the brains of awake, unrestrained mice.

The technology may someday help in research and in diagnostic imaging for infants, children, the elderly and patients with disorders that cause uncontrolled motion, such as Parkinson’s disease. In particular, it may help in brain studies that could be compromised by the use of anesthetics or restraints that alter the functioning of the brain and mask conditions.

"With this work, we're hoping to establish a new paradigm in noninvasive diagnostic imaging," said Justin Baba, a biomedical engineer who heads the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s development team, in the press release.

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Laboratory and Johns Hopkins University collaborated on the study and GE Medical provided the DaTSCAN radiotracer used to image the awake, unanesthetized, unrestrained mice. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is pursuing commercialization of the technology.

The researchers published the technical details on Awake Imaging device in the article "Conscious, Unrestrained Molecular Imaging of Mice with AwakeSPECT" in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.