Preclinical Imaging

ReDIB offers preclinical imaging services. Hence, 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). The Centro de BioImagen Complutense houses three magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems, hybrid PET-CT and X-ray and ultrasound equipments. La Fe Health Research Institute (Imaging La Fe) has 3T MRI, a microPET-CT apparatus and a fluoroscopy equipment.

It can be divided according to their applications into:

  1. Advanced Imaging (from individual cells to animals)

- 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)

Located at CNIC, the area 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

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 all scientific nodes. The facilities 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.

Benchtop MRI 1.0 T for small rodents Bruker ICON 1 Tesla

Equipped with a 1T permanent magnet, and a 450 mT/m gradient system, as well as RF probes of different sizes for rats and mice. Available to be used in self-service mode.

Location: BioImaC

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, 21 cm 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

Resonancia magnética (Philips Panorama 0.23T)

Equipped with a 0.23T open permanent magnet (C arm design), which allows explorations of big animals (whole body explorations for animals of up to 120 kg, and head or extremities explorations for animals bigger than 120 kg). Provided with 2 surface coils and 4 conventional coils for knee, head, body, and XL body studies. Location: BioImaC

MRI 4.7 T/40 cm Bruker BIOSPEC BMT 47/40

Equipped with three gradient coils: a) 50 mT/m - 20 cm diameter; b) 200 mT/m – 12 cm diameter; c) 450 mT/m – 6 cm diameter. Provided with several radiofrequency probes of different shapes and sizes for 1H, 19F, 31P and 13C nuclei.

Location: BioImaC

3T RM equipment Philips Achieva TX (multi-transmission) release 5:

Equipment with 60 cm central tunnel where advanced MR acquisitions are carried out with the possibility of programming special pulse sequences. It has multiple coils for small and large animals, as well as volunteers and patients, with high spatial and temporal resolution.

Location: Imaging La Fe

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

Offers a wide range of techniques to perform physico- chemical characterization of biomaterials and biosurfaces. 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, detecting 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

Confocal Microscope (Zeiss LSM 880)

It is a fluorescence confocal microscope fitted with: 405, Argon laser (458, 488, 514), DPSS 561, 590 and HeNE 633. FCS and FCCS measurements are carried out using GaASP and PMTr detectors for single fluorescence molecules detection and dynamic characterization. Microscope can be fitted with 2 inserts for live cell imaging for temperature and atmosphere control.

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

Surgery operating room for large animals

Provided with a pulley system that allows to move large size animals, paddle table for horses and anaesthesia equipment for large animals.

Location: BioImaC

Large animals housing rooms

Attended by technical staff who performs daily and regular supervision of the clinical state of housed animals.

Location: BioImaC

Surgery operating room for small animals

Operating room adapted for surgical interventions of small animals, provided with anaesthesia equipment ad hoc.

Location: BioImaC

500 MHz NMR spectrometer (Bruker)

Equipped, among others, with a HR-MAS probe (three nuclei: 1H, 13C, 31P), which allows to directly study semi-solid samples, as intact biological tissues or biopsy specimens.

Location: BioImaC

Small animals housing room

Attended by technical staff who performs daily and regular supervision of the clinical state of housed animals.

Location: BioImaC

Echograph (Philips SD11)

Equipped with two ultrasound transducers: convex (3.5-8MHz), and linear (7.5-12 MHz), especially devoted to echography from abdomen, torax (non-cardiac), musculoskeletal, neck and superficial soft tissues.

Location: BioImaC

X-ray equipment for small animals (SedecalVet)

Equipped with a 500mA -125kV X-ray tube, and a 200 cm table. Provided with an Agfa CR X-30 digitizer with cassettes of different sizes (40x43cm, max.).

Location: BioImaC

Echograph (Philips Affiniti 50)

Equipped with two sector transducers: 2-4MHz and 12 MHz, especially configured for cardiac ultrasound.

Location: BioImaC

Analogic Fluoroscope (Philips)

C-arm fluoroscope that allows to perform radiological imaging-guided surgical procedures.Location: BioImaC

Laboratory of biomedical computational

Laboratory of biomedical computational images with high performance computing (HPC) servers equipped with graphics processing unit (GPU) cards Tesla K-40. Also includes advanced software solutions for radiological and imaging biomarkers.

Location: Imaging La Fe

X-ray equipment for large animals (Philips Super 100CP)

Equipped with a 650mA -150kV X-ray tube. Tube and bucky hanging from a rail system which allows to perform radiographic projections in any direction.

Location: BioImaC

X-ray equipment for small animals (SedecalVet)

Equipped with a 400mA -125kV X-ray tube, and a 150 cm table. Provided with a Perkin Elmer XRPad 4336 digitizer with a panel of 43x43 cm.

Location: BioImaC

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 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

ALBA-FLIM microscope

Custom-made system dedicated to fast acquisition of fluorescence lifetime images and phasor-FLIM analysis in live samples. The system is equipped with an inverted stand, a tuneable multiphoton laser, two PMTs and two APDs detectors, and a ISS Inc. fast‐FLIM card.

Location: CNIC

Ultra-fast multiline deconvolution microscope

A Leica SP8-Navigator confocal microscope for multidimensional 3D/4D/5D acquisition of samples also in vivo. The "Lightning" package allows the acquisition of higher resolution images by automatic settings and deconvolution. The "Navigator " package allows for easy navigation through samples in diverse sample holders and for the setting and acquisition of complex multidimensional captures.

Location: CNIC

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

Philips Veradius digital Fluoroscopy equipment

For radiographic and fluoroscopic studies with the possibility of angiography. For preclinical and in-vitro studies, as well as for simulation and training with devices for specialists.

Location: Imaging La Fe

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

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

All scientific 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.

MicroPET Camera Albira PET-CT, Bruker

PET System with two rings (8 LYSO high density scintillator glass modules) that is able to provide 80 mm transaxial FOV, with 1.5 mm spatial resolution (FWHM) and 5 ns temporal resolution. Reconstruction algorithms: MLEM y OSEM. CT System with X ray source Apogee 5000 (Oxford Instruments), 0-50 kV / 50 W, and detector Flat Panel C7942 (Hamatsu Photonics).

Location: BioImaC


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

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

Bruker Albira micro-PET/CT multimodal equipment

With 3 PET rings and planar CT detectors that allow high-resolution CT and PET acquisitions, optimal in preclinical for small animals and in-vitro studies. The PET component with 3 rings acquires on a spatial resolution of 1 mm; while the CT generates high resolution images of up to 90 microns of spatial resolution.

Location: Imaging La Fe

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

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