Step-and-shoot respiratory or cardiac gated images are readily available from many Cone beam geometry microCT scanners on the market today. While admittedly the simplest method to acquire multiphase image data, step-and-shoot scan methods can spend upwards of 50% of the scan time simply accelerating and decelerating gantry equipment. A free-running acquisition mode, on the other hand, accelerates the gantry only at the beginning and end of the scan, so less time is wasted. One downside of this free-running mode, however, is that acquired raw image data needs to be sorted according to phase prior to image reconstruction, and there's little or no guarantee that images will be acquired at precisely the correct phase at all. Based on recently published methods, we've been experimenting with a post-scan retrospective gating method implemented on the GE Locus Ultra preclinical scanner, and the image above demonstrates an example result: 10 phases were reconstructed automatically using our GPU reconstruction engine, running on our custom workstation. The total scan acquisition time was 50 seconds, during which time the CT scanner made 10 full rotations. The total reconstruction time was 86 seconds. While our initial goal is to produce a turn-key third-party solution for the Ultra scanner, there's no reason why this can't be extended to other hardware platforms - we'll be investigating other scanners, which don't currently have such gating options, in the upcoming months.
We’ll be at the 2013 World Molecular Imaging Congress in Savannah, Georgia this month. If you are at the conference, be sure to drop by booth 312 to see our latest offerings.
Also, one of the featured sessions at this year's conference is "The Relationship Between Radiology and Molecular Imaging". We've had some experience with adding radiation therapy capabilities to micro-CT scanners. So, if this is an area of interest for you, please stop by to chat after the session.
Parallax Innovations is pleased to preview another cutting-edge product – the CT Sabre. The CT Sabre is a robotic arm that fits inside the bore of a micro-CT scanner and is controlled remotely through software, allowing you to perform procedures, such as the delivery of therapeutic agents, biopsies, blood sampling, etc.
A unit for the eXplore CT120
You can operate the arm during fluoroscopy:
✔ Full control of needle position
✔ Live view of needle under robotic control
✔ Highly accurate needle positioning
✔ Control of animal position
✔ Full control of x-ray angle
Alternatively, you can plan an intervention from a reconstructed 3D volume:
✔ Plan trajectory of needle with full anatomical information
✔ Easy-to-use, interactive planner – point and click to define trajectory
✔ No need to re-position the animal between acquisition and intervention
Using MicroView to plan the intervention
Safe and effective interventions for:
✔ Cardiac perfusion
✔ Tissue injection
✔ Blood sampling
If you have any questions or comments about the CT Sabre, we would love to hear from you. Also, continue to watch this blog for future CT Sabre updates.
For years now, the importance of preclinical imaging for drug discovery has been stressed. Pharmaceuticals and CROs are under pressure to streamline the discovery and development phases of drug development, and imaging is invaluable in this regard. In addition, imaging has become an important part of clinical trials; so, focusing on imaging during preclinical development allows for the best imaging biomarkers to be discovered and validated earlier, leading to cost savings when the clinical stage is reached.
There are other important roles for preclinical imaging, however. One of these is the development of new clinical techniques. Yesterday, I read an interesting article describing a potentially new technique for treating cardiac arrhythmia. Micro CT images acquired byMark Riccio and company at Cornell, using an eXplore CT-120 played an important role in this research (check out the supplementary information and a summary article at Science/AAAS for some images). This is just one exciting example of the usefulness of preclinical imaging in the development of clinical treatments.