Experimental Imaging Center

Preclinical PET facility



Rosa Maria Moresco


The Laboratory of Preclinical PET Imaging, localized within the Nuclear Medicine Department of IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, operates and has access through formal collaborations with personnel and instrumentation installed inside the laboratory belonging to the Institute of Bioimaging and Molecular Physiology (IBFM) of the National Research Council and the Tecnomed Foundation of University of Milan Bicocca. Imaging studies are performed taken advantage of the single photon or positron emitters labeled radiopharmaceuticals developed by the laboratory Radiochemistry of the Nuclear Medicine Department.


Main activities of the laboratory are focused on the use of emission tomography techniques for:

  • characterization of kinetics and biological properties of novel radiopharmaceuticals;
  • characterization of preclinical model of diseases using emission tomography techniques in comparison of the different clinical presentation of patients evaluated with PET or SPECT in clinical practice as well as during research protocols;
  • design and set up of preclinical imaging studies for drug the characterization of novel therapeutic strategies.

Studies are performed on animal or cellular model prepared by other research groups or directly by the personnel of the laboratory. Radiopharmaceutical development includes the characterization and measurement of the circulating and tissue fraction of radiolabeled metabolites and the evaluation of the potential diagnostic sensitivity of the probes using adequate animal model of diseases.


The laboratory is equipped with:

  • small animal dedicated PET/SPECT tomograph;
  • equipment for administration of volatile anesthetic;
  • phosphor-imager for authoradiography;
  • HPLC system for the analysis of radiolabeled metabolites;
  • gamma counter;
  • cryostat for tissue dissection;
  • stereotaxic surgery apparatus for mice and rats;
  • work stations and software for image analysis and quantification.

The laboratory is also equipped with ventilated cabinet for animal housing authorized by local and national institutions and is connected with the general facility for animal housing and care.