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Preclinical Imaging

ReDIB offers preclinical imaging services in both nodes. The Molecular and Functional Imaging Facility at CIC biomaGUNE houses two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems, hybrid PET-CT and SPECT-CT and optical imaging equipment. The Advanced Infrastructure for Translational Imaging (TRIMA) offers MRI, hybrid PET-CT and fluorescent molecular tomography (FMT).

It can be divided according to their applications into:

  1. Advanced Imaging (from small animals to humans)
  • Nuclear imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance
  • In vivo 3D Imaging and Fluorescence System

    2.  Molecular and functional imaging (from single molecules to small organisms)

  • Optical spectroscopy and microscopy
  • Nanoscopy

    3.  High throughput / Content Imaging (from cells to organisms)

Both nodes provide hybrid imaging equipment. The Molecular and Functional Imaging Platform at CIC biomaGUNE has hybrid PET-CT and full ring SPECT-CT, the latter offering the possibility of multi-isotope studies with energy discrimination. The Infrastructure for Advanced Translational Imaging (TRIMA) offers hybrid PET-CT imaging. Both nodes are equipped with conditioned rooms for animal preparation and ancilliary equipment including anesthesia systems, physiological monitoring equipment, infusion pumps and temperature regulation systems.

PET-CT (eXplore Vista-CT)

Axial FOV of 5 cm; Transaxial FOV of 7cm. Movement stretcher is remotely controlled in full body imaging. Reconstruction using FBP, 2DOSEM and 3DOSEM . Static or dynamic acquisition, multi-bed and in list mode.Location: CIC biomaGUNE

SPECT-CT (eXplore speCZT CT 120)

Axial FOV of 8cm; Transaxial FOV of 7.6 cm (rat) and 3.2 cm (mouse). Complete ring of solid detectors (10 heads) and interchangeable cylindrical collimators. High energetic resolution: simultaneous detection of multiple isotopes.Location: CIC biomaGUNE

NanoPET_CT Mediso

The advanced positron emission tomography (PET) dedicated to preclinical imaging provides extensive research possibilities, including the quantitative measurement of the biodistribution of positron emitting isotopes or evaluation of new biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.Location: CNIC


Used to determine the real-time distribution of radiotracer from specific tissues/organs of interest by exposing the sample to an energy capture array.Location: CIC biomaGUNE

Instrumentation to conduct advanced imaging and spectroscopic experiments applied to biological samples including small rodents, samples or tissue extracts and cell cultures are available at both nodes. Both nodes provide the instrumentation and the expertise to carry out a wide range of MRI and MRS experiments, and are equipped with surgery rooms for animal preparation and implementation of surgical models. Ancillary equipment is also available: anesthesia systems, MRI-compatible physiological monitoring systems, infusion pumps, and temperature regulation systems.

MRI 7T/30 cm (70/30 USR)

Composed of two gradients, one of 20 cm (200 mT/m) and the high-field gradient of 12 cm (400 mT/m). Two 2 broadband transmission channels and 4 parallel reception channels.Location: CIC biomaGUNE

MRI 11.7T/16 cm (117/16 USR)

High performance, 9 cm (750 mT/m) gradient; 4 broadband transmission channels and 8 parallel reception channels.
Multi-nuclide, including 13C, 19F and 31P.Location: CIC biomaGUNE

7T MRI Agilent-Varian

Equipped with two gradients, a 21 cm one with maximum strength 200 mT/m and a smaller with 12 cm and 400 mT/m maximum strength. 31 cm horizontal bore system.Location: CNIC

3D IVIS Perkin Elmer 200

High sensitivity and low noise level that allows visualization and monitoring of cellular and genetic activity in small animals (mainly mice) in vivo and in real time. Enables gene, cell or tissue labelling.Location: CNIC

FMT Perkin Elmer

Quantifies a large number of biomarkers, mechanistic pathways and levels of translational therapeutic response. Operates in two "near infrared" channels and is compatible with standard anesthesia.Location: CNIC

Offers a wide range of techniques to perform physico- chemical characterization of biomaterials and biosurfaces. To highlight the study of in-house developed biofunctionalized nanoparticles and bioengineered materials and their interaction with biological systems at the molecular level. Therefore, the activity of the platform is not just focused on the analysis of cell and tissue samples, but also in the investigation of the interaction of nanomaterials with living cells and tissues, providing thus complementary information to other in vivo and ex vivo imaging techniques.


Flow cytometer (BD FACS Canto II)

Using light scattering and multicolour emission detection allows the physico/chemical characterization of cells and microparticles, detencting up to 8 colors simultaneously. The optics consists on an excitation source of three lasers (488, 633 and 405 nm).Location: CIC biomaGUNE

Confocal Raman microscope (Renishaw inViaReflex)

The Renishaw in Via microscope collects Raman spectra at standard or high confocality mode, giving high spatial resolution (<1µm lateral). This capability can be used to create maps of chemical composition from areas or volumes in the analyzed sample.Location: CIC biomaGUNE

Cell Observer microscope (Zeiss Axio observer)

Allows quantitative and qualitative analysis of fast and slow processes in living cells. Equipped with a xenon lamp and 4 different excitation wavelength LEDs (365, 470, 530, 590 nm) for epifluorescence in combination with transmission illumination and a motorized stage. Suitable for long term experiments.Location: CIC biomaGUNE

Scanning Confocal microscope (Zeiss LSM 510)

High sensitivity with reduced background multicolor (up to 8 colors) imaging can be obtained at 3D reconstruction. Fitted with a module for FCS and FLIM for single molecule dynamics and interaction studies. Also FRAP and FRET analysis modules are available to study diffusion process and interactions at molecular level.Location: CIC biomaGUNE

The techniques included in the Nanoscopy Platform are excellent tools for the early-stage molecular characterization of biomolecules and ultrastructural analysis of sub-cellular organelles using multi-color fluorescence markers.

Depending on the type of method used, it is possible to improve the maximal resolution of fluorescence-based images from 200 nm to 20-100nm. Hitherto non-resolvable small subcellular structures such as centrioles, lipid rafts, neuronal dendrite spines, nuclear pore complexes, bacterial polar complexes, and many other macromolecular structures with less than 200 nm in Y,X dimension - so far exclusively accessible by electron microscopy - can be visualized by multi color light microscopy, and eventually by live cell imaging. 

Leica 3-Colour Fast Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscope DMI 6000

TIRF illumination for selective visualization of slim structures such as the cell membrane for studies of cell motility, protein aggregation or vesicle traffic. Resolution in Z direction reaches up to 70 nm.  Location: CNIC

Leica Single Molecule Localization by Ground-State Depletion (dSTORM)

Flexible system based on standard immunostaining techniques that combine TIRF and epifluorescence with single molecule imaging (maximun resolution of 20 nm). Able to single molecules localisation in the x,y plane and in fixed cell samples.Location: CNIC

Leica gated-STED-3X – WWL SP8 Super‐resolution

Gated Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscope for 2-color-3D-imaging on fixed, tiny samples at maximum resolution of 20 nm (x,y) and 80 nm (z), improving from 5 to 10 fold the spatial resolution of conventional confocal microscopes.Location: CNIC

This area is located in CNIC. It is composed by the cell analytical technique High Content Screening (HCS) and supports quantitative high throughput image-based research.

The image analysis application development includes High Content screening, 3D and 4D modelling, Image registration, Computer vision methods, 2D and 3D image analysis and segmentation and Machine learning.

It is equipped with dedicated image analysis software packages (Acapella, Definiens, MatLab, MetaMorph, Imaris, Volocity) and develops custom algorithms for image analysis.

HCS Imaging resources

High Throughput Imaging: An automated confocal microscope for microplate reading (Opera, Perkin Elmer) equipped with a plate handler with 14 position plate shelf and barcode reader.Location: CNIC

Liquid handling robot Tecan

The liquid handling workplace is connected to a cell culture incubator with a capacity of 110 plates (Freedom EVO , Tecan) and a carousel plate storage (up to 220 microplates). Includes a cell counter (Coulter) and seader (Multidrop, Thermo).Location: CNIC