Year 1

The overall aim of this project is to develop a combined MRI and SPECT system for tracking stem cell migration in small animals. During the first year we were able to build a proto-type using a single detector and obtain images of physical objects to determine the minimum spatial resolution. Our studies indicate that the SPECT part of the system is able to image objects as small as 2mm in size. The resolution of the MRI component is much better and around 200 micrometers. We were able to make both of these systems work simultaneously to acquire simultaneous MRI and SPECT images. We also obtained preliminary images using a mouse model where one can see both the radio-isotope distribution via SPECT and high resolution anatomic information via MRI. The results have been published in two different journals.