Breakthrough biomedical imaging technology: Automated Quantitative 3D Autoradiography

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Breakthrough biomedical imaging technology: Automated Quantitative 3D Autoradiography

Press release


EXIRAD-3D, MILabs’ new micron-resolution Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) technology, dedicated for imaging ex-vivo tissue samples is being launched by MILabs at the EANM congress in Barcelona.

EXIRAD-3D enables highly detailed quantitative and automated 3D scanning of radiolabeled molecules in biological tissue samples such as complete organs of small animals, and can be readily combined with X-ray CT. By cryo-cooling the tissue samples with a micron-resolution SPECT option, researchers can finally eliminate many tedious, time-consuming and error-prone steps from traditional Quantitative 3D Autoradiography.

Important practical advantages enables unique research

By 3D scanning cryo-cooled tissue samples with MIlabs micron-resolution SPECT option, researchers can finally eliminate many tedious, time-consuming and error-prone steps from Quantitative 3D Autoradiography. With current 3D autoradiography methods, researcher must cryo-section tissue samples using a cryo-microtome, expose the frozen slices for many hours to days to X-ray film or storage phosphor screens, scan the samples with a digital 2D film or phosphor screen reader and reconstruct 3D images from a stack of 2D images with sophisticated images analysis software. This process is time-consuming, laborious and error prone. Often, slices get distorted due to tissue manipulations, irregular slicing or 3D co-registration errors obtained from the stack of 2D images. Moreover, to create a good visual reference, many of the slices may need to be stained requiring extra steps to ultimately form a 3D image showing the distribution of the radiolabeled substance within the cryo-cooled tissue.

MILabs new EXIRAD-3D eliminates all these steps and reduces the time required to obtain 3D autoradiography images by one to two orders of magnitude. In addition, quantitative accuracy is greatly enhanced: no problems resulting from distorted or torn slices, the 3D images are now truly isotropic, the radioactive distribution images are further enhanced by co-registered CT images and above all, this simple one-step procedure enables to analyze images presented in their true native resolution. Moreover, EXIRAD-3D expands application versatility making it possible to analyze the distribution of multiple tracers, simultaneously.

According to MILabs CEO Prof. Frederik J. Beekman ”EXIRAD-3D Quantitative 3D autoradiography is fast, saves tremendous amounts of labor and reduces costs. And best of all, results are truly quantitative. On your image analysis workstation, undistorted quantitative EXIRAD-3D images can be sliced in any direction, and multiple tracers can be analyzed simultaneously if desired…”

The EXIRAD-3D option is available for the MILabs U-SPECT4CT and VECTor4CT systems, and combined they offer a unique single-system solution to translate research results from ex vivo to in vivo analysis and vice-versa.

Mouse knee imaged with micro-resolution 99mTc-MDP SPECT (left) and 99mTc-MDP SPECT/CT (right) with 4 μm voxel CT. These extreme resolution SPECT and CT capabilities enable studying the spatial distribution of a selected function marker and relate this one-to-one to anatomical microstructures imaged in 3D.
Highly efficient and error-free workflow of tissue processing with EXIRAD-3D.

About MILabs

MILabs B.V. (Utrecht, the Netherlands) provides high-end molecular imaging solutions for biomedical and pharmaceutical research. Today these systems contribute worldwide to the development of new diagnostic solutions and therapies for diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiac and neurodegenerative diseases. As documented in over hundreds of scientific articles, U-SPECT provides the fastest, most sensitive and highest resolution small-animal SPECT system currently available. Recently MILabs fused state-of-the-art Adaptive PET with its SPECT technology by introducing VECTor/CT. This versatile nuclear imaging system is an extremely powerful non-invasive imaging system for small animals since it enables simultaneous sub-mm resolution PET/SPECT acquisitions of co-injected PET and SPECT tracers. Moreover, the VECTor platform offers the extreme flexibility of accommodating additional high-resolution, low-dose X-ray CT and Hybrid Optical luminescence and fluorescence imaging capabilities. For more information, visit

2017-01-11T16:37:45+00:00 October 15th, 2016|News|0 Comments