Finnish Biomedical Imaging Node

The Finnish Biomedical Imaging Node (FiBI) is a multi-sited, multimodal Node covering biomedical imaging from mouse to man. The spearhead imaging technologies of the FiBI Node include 1) preclinical and human PET imaging and PET tracer development, 2) preclinical high-field MRI, 3) magnetoencephalography (MEG), and 4) optical intravital imaging, coupled with a broad repository of imaging tracers and probes, numerous animal models from mice to pigs, and diverse stimulation systems for both animals and humans. The key expertise and main research applications focus on major challenges especially in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, neuroscience, and cancer. With wide coverage of imaging modalities and expertise, the FiBI Node provides exceptional opportunities not only for basic research but also for translational research from small animals to larger animals to humans and to the clinic within a single Node.

The Finnish Biomedical Imaging Node operates in close collaboration with the Finnish Advanced Light Microscopy Node. Together, the two Nodes form Euro-BioImaging Finland, which is on the Academy of Finland’s national roadmap for research infrastructures 2021-2024

Specialties and expertise of the Node

The expertise and the imaging modalities of the FiBI Node enable versatile basic research but also provide unique approaches especially in translational research and drug development. In addition, the research opportunities in the FiBI Node also cover development and validation of new imaging and other health care technologies, new imaging tracers and probes, and new tools for advanced image processing and analysis.
Special features of the FiBI Node’s spearhead technologies are described below.

  • Exceptionally broad collection of different PET tracers to study e.g., blood perfusion, glucose and fatty acid metabolism, (neuro)inflammation, and neurotransmission both in animals and humans. Just to mention a few examples, [15O]H2O, [18F]FDG, [18F]FTHA, and [11C]Acetate are among the most frequently asked tracers for cardiovascular and metabolic imaging, [11C]Methionine, [18F]rhPSMA7.3, and [68Ga]DOTANOC for cancer imaging, and [11C]Raclopride, [11C]PBR, [11C]PIB and [11C]UCB-J for neuroimaging. Our PET tracer portfolio is constantly being streamlined with new tracers developed in-house, so don’t hesitate to ask for more information about available options.
  • Numerous validated PET applications for animal and human studies:
    • Cardiovascular PET specialties include diagnostics, characterization, and monitoring coronary artery disease, heart failure, and inflammatory processes of the cardiovascular system.
    • Metabolic PET approaches provide various opportunities for studying key pathological processes such as insulin resistance and pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction in obesity, metabolic diseases, and T2 diabetes, and the effects of physical activity/inactivity on tissue specific and whole body metabolism.
    • PET applications in neuroscience range from neurophysiology of aging brain, pathophysiology of neurogenerative diseases, mapping neuroreceptor systems in health and disease, molecular and functional processes (e.g. neuroinflammation) of different psychiatric and neurological disorders, to neurobiology of human behavior and emotions.
    • Oncological PET expertise offers opportunities to assess and validate new hybrid imaging methods and image acquisition protocols in cancer diagnostics, and to develop new theranostic approaches for various types of cancers, such as prostate and breast cancer, neuroendocrine and other somatostatin receptor positive tumors, and malignant lymphoma.
  • Body movement tolerant, in-house developed technology for fMRI of awake animals. The technique allows for example diverse genetic, electrical, and pharmacologic manipulations and at the same time overcomes the interfering effects of anesthetics. It is minimally stressful to animals and it can also be combined with various brain stimulation or electrophysiological recordings providing flexible study designs.
  • Hyperpolarized MRI, a non-radioactive method for investigation of dynamic metabolic processes. The Node houses DNP-hyperpolarizer for 13C-labeled probes, such as pyruvate. Hyperpolarization increases MR sensitivity of 13C nuclei over 10000-fold for 1-2 minutes which allows real-time imaging of pathway-specific metabolic processes, where the injected probe is observed separately from its metabolites. Therefore, hyperpolarized MRI has applications in many diseases with altered metabolism including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a variety of inflammatory conditions.
  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is optimally suited for detecting neuronal dynamics in the cerebral cortex, which has made it a powerful tool in basic neuroscience research. The FiBI Node offers MEG-optimized experimental designs coupled with a wide range of sensory, motor and cognitive stimulus systems. The offered protocols can be used to study for example sensorimotor and proprioceptive brain activity related to body movements, cortical networks in language processing, and neuronal signaling of cognitive functions in health and disease. MEG is routinely combined with other complementary measures of human neurophysiology such as fMRI, EEG, TMS, and eye-tracking as well as with diverse behavioral measures.
  • Unique opportunities for MEG related imaging and neurotechnological development. New types of MEG sensors, hybrid MEG-MR systems, and next-generation MEG stimulator systems and monitoring devices are actively being developed in house.
  • Multiphoton, widefield and intrinsic signal optical intravital imaging set-ups for studying e.g. ear skin vasculature, paw skin, brain, lymph node/mammary gland, tumors, and externalized internal organs such as the intestine, liver and spleen, and protocols and adapters for both anesthetized and behaving animals (brain imaging). These techniques can be used to study for example vascular networks, blood flow and leakage, cell tracking, and morphological changes in longitudinal settings. Advanced neuronal set-ups for brain imaging allow for example dynamic imaging of calcium- or voltage-sensitive proteins, micro-anatomic imaging of dendritic spines and mitochondria, and blood oxygenation and blood flow rate imaging. Brain imaging can also be performed in freely moving animals by using in-house developed home-cage device, where the animal can be exposed to cues, perform tasks or interact with other animals and coupled with physiological recordings.

New offer of technology

  • PET and micro-PET
  • PET/CT and micro-PET/CT
  • CT and micro-CT
  • Micro-SPECT/CT
  • Micro-MRI/MRS
  • High-field micro-MRI
  • Optical imaging
  • US and micro-US
  • Multiphoton microscopy systems
  • Magnetoencephalography

Additional services offered by the Node

  • User-oriented project support with study design and management
  • Synthesis and development of radiotracers and radiopharmaceuticals
  • Various animal models for human diseases (e.g. mouse, rat, rabbit, and pig models)
  • Advanced animal experiment facilities
  • Assistance in patient and subject recruitment
  • Assistance in acquiring ethical permissions
  • Blood and tissue sampling, metabolite analyses, and pharmacokinetic modelling
  • Electrophysiological and behavioral measurements such as electroencephalography (EEG), navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS), and eye tracking
  • Wide variety of behavioural measurements
  • Basic and advanced training for using the equipment
  • Assistance in image processing, data analyses, and interpretation
  • Data storage

Instrument highlights

PET imaging: Three whole body PET/CT scanners (GE Discovery MI, GE D690, GE Discovery VCT), human brain/animal PET scanner (CPS HRRT), simultaneous 3T PET/MRI (GE Healthcare Signa), two small animal PET/CT scanners (Siemens Inveon, Raycan), portable animal PET and CT scanners (Molecubes) and small animal PET scanner (Siemens). Simultaneous small animal 7T PET/MRI (MR Solutions) will be available in 2021. Wide repository of both in-house produced and commercial PET tracers for both animals and humans.

Preclinical high-field MRI: Four high-field MRI systems (7T/16 cm Bruker, 9.4T/31 cm Bruker/Agilent, 9.4T/89 mm Agilent, 11.5 T/55 mm Bruker), a hyperpolariser (3-10 T, DTU). Simultaneous small animal 7T PET/MRI (MR Solutions) will be available in 2021.

Magnetoencephalography: Two MEG systems (306-channel Elekta/MEGIN TRIUX and Elekta Neuromag devices) with compatible high-density (64-channel) EEG systems. The MEG research is supported by 3T MRI scanner (Magnetom Skyra, Siemens), TMS devices (Bistim2 & Rapid2, Magstim, Nexstim eXimia and NBS4) compatible with simultaneous EEG recordings, and a 99-channel flat-bottom SQUID magnetometer especially suitable for cardiac and fetal brain research.

Optical intravital microscopy: Three upright multiphoton microscopes for imaging multiple organs/tissues (Zeiss LSM 7 with Coherent Chameleon Vision II laser with OPO equipped with isoflurane anesthesia), and for cranial window imaging in anesthetized or awake mice (Olympus FluoView1000 MP and Femtonics Femto2D-Dual microscopes, both with SpectraPhysics MaiTai lasers and mobile home cage set-ups to image freely moving mice), two widefield microscopes with electrophysiology set-ups, and optical whole-body fluorescence/luminescence imaging (Spectral Instruments Imaging Lago system with 14 LED excitation wavebands and 20 fluorescence emission filters).

Examples of other available instruments: Ultrasoun systems (Accuson, VisualSonics Vevo2100, Philips Epiq 7), basic optical imaging systems (Perkin Elmer IVIS Spectrum), small animal SPECT/CT scanners (Gamma Medica, NanoSPECT/CT, Bioscan), in vivo microCT system (Perkin Elmer Guantum GX2) small animal MRI (Philips Ingenia 1.5T S), Hallmarg Standing Equine MRI (0.3 T), CT (GE Lightspeed VCT 64), small (CPI Indigo 100) and large animal x-ray (Shimadzu UD150B-40) services and Philips BV Libra C-arm for surgical imaging, near-infrared spectroscopic imaging (NIRSI) facilities, and tailored equipment for studying sensory and motor systems and cognitive functions in clinical settings. The various imaging modalities and electrophysiological and behavioral measurements are routinely integrated within FiBI Node.

Contact details

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