Experimental Imaging Center
Cerenkov and radioluminescence imaging
The main goal of the R&D unit is the development of novel imaging methods based on Cerenkov and Radioluminescence imaging (RLI). Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) is a recent molecular imaging method based on the detection of Cerenkov radiation (in the visible range) induced in the tissue by beta particles (both positrons or electrons) as they travel with a velocity higher than the speed of light in the tissue. This condition is satisfied by several isotopes used in nuclear medicine or research applications. RLI allows the imaging with optical methods of a large variety of radioisotopes including not just beta but also alpha and gamma emitters. The main advantages of CLI and RLI are the intrinsic flexibility in terms of radiopharmaceuticals that could be imaged and, at the same time, the simplicity and affordability of optical imaging methods.
CLI and RLI were successfully applied on several small animal in vivo studies and also in humans for imaging the thyroid and to estimate the tumor resection margins. An idea under development is also the use of CLI and RLI during surgery for real time tumor detection. The R&D unit is also active in collaborating with industries a recent project focuses on the use of RLI for real time entrance dose measurements during radiotherapy. Our optical imaging approach can be implemented in the clinical routine allowing a more accurate and reproducible radiotherapy treatments.
Galiè M, Boschi F, Scambi I, Merigo F, Marzola P, Altabella L, Lavagnolo U, Sbarbati A and Spinelli AE. Theranostic Role of 32P-ATP as Radiopharmaceutical for the Induction of Massive Cell Death within Avascular Tumor Core. Theranostics. 2017; 7(18) pp. 4399-4409.
Boschi F, De Sanctis F, Spinelli AE. Optical emission of 223 Radium: in vitro and in vivo preclinical applications. J. Biophotonics. 2017; 11(4):e201700209.
Ackerman NL, Boschi F, Spinelli AE. Monte Carlo simulations support non- Cerenkov radioluminescence production in tissue. Journal of Biomedical Optics. 2017; 22(8) pp. 1-11.
Spinelli AE, Schiariti MP, Grana CM, Ferrari M, Cremonesi M, Boschi F. Cerenkov and radioluminescence imaging of brain tumor specimens during neurosurgery. Journal of Biomedical Optics. 2016; 21(5), art. no. 050502.
Spinelli AE, Boschi F. Novel biomedical applications of Cerenkov radiation and radioluminescence imaging. Physica Medica. 2015; 31(2), pp. 120-129.
Pagliazzi, M., Boschi, F., Spinelli, A.E. Imaging of luminescence induced by beta and gamma emitters in conventional non-scintillating materials. RSC Advances. 2014; 4(26), pp. 13687-13692.
Spinelli, AE, Ferdeghini M, Cavedon C, Zivelonghi E, Calandrino R, Fenzi A, Sbarbati A, Boschi F. First human cerenkography. Journal of Biomedical Optics. 2013; 18(2), art. no. 020502.
Spinelli, AE, Kuo C, Rice BW, Calandrino R, Marzola P, Sbarbati A, Boschi F. Multispectral Cerenkov luminescence tomography for small animal optical imaging. Optics Express. 2011; 19(13), pp. 12605-12618.
Boschi F, Calderan L, D’Ambrosio D, Marengo M, Fenzi A, Calandrino R, Sbarbati A, Spinelli AE. In vivo 18F-FDG tumour uptake measurements in small animals using Cerenkov radiation. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. 2011; 38(1), pp. 120-127.
Spinelli AE, D'Ambrosio D, Calderan L, Marengo M, Sbarbati A, Boschi F. Cerenkov radiation allows in vivo optical imaging of positron emitting radiotracers. Physics in Medicine and Biology. 2010; 55(2), pp. 483-495.