C.5: Whole-Body Imaging of Awake Organisms
In CiM complex organisms such as mouse and zebrafish are studied using a range of whole-body functional and molecular imaging techniques. Typically, animals are anaesthetized to enable optimal, ‘motion-free’ imaging in the acquisition window of minutes to hours. However, anaesthesia heavily influences molecular pathways and functions at all levels – from cells to tissues to organs. Thereby, imaging results can be severely biased, which is relevant not only to preclinical but also to translational research. We aim at whole-body imaging of awake organisms using modalities like PET or FRI. This will uniquely enable the unbiased and accurate measurement of dynamic molecular processes and organ function in vivo. Combining our expertise in imaging detectors, motion tracking, motion modelling and compensation, and image reconstruction, the technical and mathematical solution will be based on three major parts: complex 3D video surface tracking of awake organisms in the scanner by multi-camera systems, non-rigid motion modelling by using the surface information to predict the motion inside the object volume (e.g. organs), and motion-compensating image reconstruction of the raw imaging data. This new imaging technology will be adapted to imaging approaches of CiM researchers at increasing levels of complexity.