managers and sponsors specialized
in biomedical research

Experimental Imaging Unit (UNIME)

Pablo Aguiar Fernández

The Experimental Imaging Unit acquires and processes
 pre-clinical structural and functional images of small rodents. In addition to this, 
it also offers the possibility of merging the images obtained by means of 
imaging software.

The platform allows you to know the biodistribution of the different isotope tracers both in healthy animals and in experimental models of different pathologies. Since this is an in vivo technique, this platform offers the possibility to carry out studies over time using the same animal and monitor the pathology which is being researched. Thus, this is an extremely useful technique for studying the physiology of the model and assess the effectiveness of an experimental drug. In addition to this, multimodal image fusion helps pinpoint the location of the study area and assess the radioactive uptake at this level. Currently, the Unit offers its services to different research groups, being Neurology, Pharmacy, Oncology, Cardiology and Endocrinology the areas with the highest demand.


The Experimental Imaging Unit has microPET-CT Albira (Bruker) equipment which can obtain molecular (using β-radiation-emitting isotopes, such as Fluorine-18) and structural images of small rodents. In addition to this, the platform has a microSPECT (Siemens) which can be used to capture molecular images with γ-radiation-emitting isotopes, such as Gallium-67 and Technetium-99.

Recently, the platform has incorporated arterial blood sampling equipment (Swisstrace) which can be used to measure radioactive activity in arterial blood during the conducting of dynamic studies in order to carry out kinetic analyses with the images obtained. The unit also has professional imaging software which can be used to quantify and co-register multimodal images.

Current fees

We are currently updating the fees for these platforms. Contact us for more information

Papers and bibliography

The following are pictures of different equipment and sample images of studies we carry out:

Figure 1. MicroPET-CT Albira Bruker

Figure 2. Swisstrace arterial blood sampling equipment

Figure 3. Activation of interscapular brown flat in rats (Martínez-Sánchez et al., 2017)

Figure 4. Alterations in brain metabolism in rats treated with diazepam (Silva-Rodríguez et al., 2016)

Figure 5. Longitudinal FDG PET-CT imaging of rats with inflammatory bowel disease with no treatment and with corticosteroid treatment (Seoane-Viaño et al., 2018)

Figure 6. 99mTc SPECT thyroid imaging of mouse (Aguiar et al., 2014)

Figure 7. PET-CT images merged after administering gastric capsules (Goyanes et al., 2018)

Figure 8. PET-CT images after intravitral injection of radiopharmaceuticals (Fernández-Ferreiro et al., 2017c)

Scientific Papers of the Experimental Imaging Unit:

  • Aguiar, P.; Silva-Rodríguez, J.; Herranz, M. & Ruibal, A. (2014) Preliminary Experience with Small Animal SPECT Imaging on Clinical Gamma Cameras. BioMed Research International, 2014: 1-7. DOI: 10.1155/2014/369509.
  • Fernández-Ferreiro, A.; Silva-Rodríguez, J.; Otero-Espinar, F. J.; González-Barcia, M.; Lamas, M. J.; Ruibal, Á.; Luaces-Rodríguez, A.; Vieites-Prado, A.; Sobrino, T.; Herranz, M.; García-Varela, L.; Blanco-Méndez, J.; Gil-Martínez, M.; Pardo, M.; Moscoso, A.; Medín-Aguerre, S.; Pardo-Montero, J. & Aguiar, P. (2017a) Positron emission tomography for the development and characterization of corneal permanence of ophthalmic pharmaceutical formulations. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 58: 772-780. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.16-20766.
  • Fernández-Ferreiro, A.; Silva-Rodríguez, J.; Otero-Espinar, F. J.; González-Barcia, M.; Lamas, M. J.; Ruibal, Á.; Luaces-Rodríguez, A.; Vieites-Prado, A.; Lema, I.; Herranz, M.; Gómez-Lado, N.; Blanco-Méndez, J.; Gil-Martínez, M.; Pardo, M.; Moscoso, A.; Cortés, J.; Sánchez-Martínez, M.; Pardo-Montero, J. & Aguiar, P. (2017b) In vivo eye surface residence determination by high-resolution scintigraphy of a novel ion-sensitive hidrogel based on gellan gum and kappa-carrageenan. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 114: 317-323. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2017.01.023.
  • Fernández-Ferreiro, A.; Luaces-Rodríguez, A.; Aguiar, P.; Pardo-Montero, J.; González-Barcia, M.; García-Varela, L.; Herranz, M.; Silva-Rodríguez, J.; Gil-Martínez, M.; Bermúdez, M. A.; Vieites-Prado, A.; Blanco-Méndez, J.; Lamas, M. J.; Gómez-Ulla, F.; Ruibal, Á.; Otero-Espinar, F. J. & González, F. (2017c) Preclinical PET study of intravitreal injections. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 58: 2843-2851. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.17-21812.
  • Goyanes, Á.; Fernández-Ferreiro, A.; Majeed, A.; Gómez-Lado, N.; Awad, A.; Luaces-Rodríguez, A.; Gaisford, S.; Aguiar, P. & Basit, A. W. (2018) PET/CT imaging of 3D devices in the gastrointestinal tract of rodents. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 536 (1): 158-164. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.11.055.
  • Luaces-Rodríguez, A.; Díaz-Tomé, V.; González-Barcia, M.; Silva-Rodríguez, J.; Herranz, M.; Gil-Martínez, M.; Rodríguez-Ares, M. T.; García-Mazás, C.; Blanco-Méndez, J.; Lamas, M. J.; Otero-Espinar, F. J. & Fernández-Ferreiro, A. (2017) Cysteamine polysaccharide hydrogels: study of extended ocular delivery and biopermanence time by PET imaging. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 528: 714-722. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.06.060.
  • Luaces-Rodríguez, A.; Touriño-Peralba, R.; Alonso-Rodríguez, I.; García-Otero, X.; González-Barcia, M.; Rodríguez-Ares, M. T.; Martínez-Pérez, L.; Aguiar, P.; Gómez-Lado, N.; Silva-Rodríguez, J.; Herranz, M.; Ruibal, Á.; Lamas, M. J.; Otero-Espinar, F. J. & Fernández-Ferreiro, A. (2018) Preclinical characterization and clinical evaluation of tacrolimus eye drops. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 120: 152-161. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejps.2018.04.038.
  • Martínez-Sánchez, N.; Seoane-Collazo, P.; Contreras, C.; Varela, L.; Villarroya, J.; Rial-Pensado, E.; Buqué, X.; Aurrekoetxea, I.; Delgado, T. C.; Vázquez-Martínez, R.; González-García, I.; Roa, J.; Whittle, A. J.; Gómez-Santos, B.; Velagapudi, V.; Loraine-Tung, Y. C.; Morgan, D. A.; Voshol, P. J.; Martínez de Morentin, P. B.; López-González, T.; Liñares-Pose, L.; González, F.; Chatterjee, K.; Sobrino, T.; Medina-Gómez, G.; Davis, R. J.; Casals, N.; Oresic, M.; Coll, A. P.; Vidal-Puig, A.; Mittag, J.; Tena-Sempere, M.; Malagón, M. M.; Diéguez, C.; Martínez-Chantar, M. L.; Aspichueta, P.; Ragmouni, K.; Nogueiras, R.; Sabio, G.; Villarroya, F. & López, M. (2017) Hypothalamic AMPK-ER Stress-JNK1 axis mediates the central action of thyroid hormones on energy balance. Cell Metabolism 26 (1): 212-229. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.06.014.
  • Seoane-Viaño, I.; Gómez-Lado, N.; Lázare-Iglesias, H.; Barreiro-de-Acosta, M.; Silva-Rodríguez, J.; Luzardo-Álvarez, A.; Herranz, M.; Otero-Espinar, F.; Antúnez-López, J. R.; Lamas, M. J.; Aguiar, P.; Fernández-Ferreiro, A. & Ruibal, Á. (2018) Longitudinal PET/CT evaluation of TNBS-induced inflammatory bowel disease rat model. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 549: 335-342. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2018.08.005.
  • Silva-Rodríguez, J.; Cortés, J.; Pardo-Montero, J.; Pérez-Fentes, D.; Herranz, M.; Ruibal, Á. & Aguiar, P. (2015) In vivo quantification of renal function in mice using clinical gamma cameras. Physica Medica: European Journal of Medical Physics 31 (3): 242-247. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2015.01.013.
  • Silva-Rodríguez, J.; García-Varela, L.; López-Arias, E.; Domínguez-Prado, I.; Cortés, J.; Pardo-Montero, J.; Fernández-Ferreiro, A.; Ruibal, Á.; Sobrino, T. & Aguiar, P. (2016) Impact of benzodiazepines on brain FDG PET quantification after single-dose and chronic administration in rats. Nuclear Medicine and Biology 43 (12): 827-834. DOI: 10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2016.09.001.

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