Pre-Clinical Imaging

In vivo imaging of molecular events in animal models holds significant potential in areas like oncology, cardiovascular disease, neurology, diabetes, infectious disease and inflammation research.

Molecular imaging is also an essential tool for translational research and new drug development, with the rapid emergence of imaging-based biomarkers.

This dedicated optical imaging system has been widely used by a number of internal and external research groups to examine key pathophysiological events in cancer and inflammation, as well as for novel drug evaluation studies in these therapeutic domains.

The microPET/CT and microSPECT/CT facilities are going through the final stages of commissioning, with first scans to take place in 2010 Q1.


  • Triumph PET/CT (LabPet 4, X-O CT)
  • Explore SpecZT CT120
  • IVIS Spectrum optical imaging system, a micro-ultrasound device and an intravital microscope.

More on Core Technology- PreImaging instrumentation


Our primary expertise is in the area of tumour biology, but we have also interacted closely with groups applying optical imaging approaches to assess inflammatory responses in vivo.

We have an interest in applying our in vivo imaging technologies in other therapeutic areas via collaborative interactions with experts in these fields, particularly in relation to the use of imaging for stem cell tracking and evaluation of drug responses.

Our main mode of interaction with research groups is via collaborative projects. Each collaboration begins with initial feasibility discussions.

We operate a not-for-profit access model, where we solely focus on cost recovery for staff, consumable and warranty charges. We can also assist in the licensing and ethical approval process but these incur additional charges. 

Provision of training

Training can be provided on this technology platform on a study-by-study basis, taking on board the relevant technical background of the trainee. Interested users should also note that this type of work requires considerable advance planning to ensure licensing and ethical approval issues are appropriately dealt with. As such, contact well in advance of planned studies is recommended.

Current research portfolio:

Molecular imaging allows monitoring of functional processes in vivo in a non-invasive manner, allowing longitudinal studies that are key for translational research and drug development. Preclinical in vivo imaging facilitates a wide variety of research areas.

Read more on Core Technology- PreImaging research portfolio

Key publications involving the platform:

Byrne, A. T., O’Connor, A. E., Hall, M., Murtagh, J., O’Neill, K., Curran, K. M., Mongrain, K., Rousseau, J. A., Lecomte, R., McGee, S., Callanan, J. J., O’Shea, D. F., and Gallagher, W. M. (2009).

Vascular targeted photodynamic therapy with BF2-chelated tetraaryl-azadipyromethene agents:

A multi-modality molecular imaging approach to therapeutic assessment. British Journal of Cancer, 101(9), 1565-1573.


For general enquires, including collaborative research studies, contact Prof. William Gallagher ( for further details.

For technical details relating to optical and radionuclide imaging systems, contact Ms. Emer Conroy (


Science Foundation Ireland and the Health Research Board of Ireland under the auspices of the 'Breast Cancer Metastasis: Biomarkers and Functional Mediators' Research Programme (2005-2010) fund this facility.

Check out our next associated technology: Ultrasound Imaging