Year 2

The overall objective of this project was the design and construction of a combined MRI and SPECT system for tracking stem cell migration in small animals. During this reporting period, the system construction was finalized and several imaging tests were performed on both physical phantoms and mice. Integration and automated control of an MR-compatible motor was completed and utilized to rotate the system’s gantry to allow for tomographic imaging. The detection sensitivity of the system was evaluated using phantoms. The results demonstrate the system’s ability to detect and localize small amount of radioactivity, as would be required for stem cell tracking. Finally, small compartments of radioactivity were implanted at various locations within several mice and imaged using the MRSPECT system. The results demonstrate the feasibility of stem cell tracking in a live animal.