Small-animal PET: a promising, non-invasive tool in pre-clinical research

Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2010 Jan;74(1):50-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2009.05.012. Epub 2009 May 29.


Today, non-invasive imaging techniques are significantly contributing to the understanding of molecular processes in vivo. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a scintigraphic medical imaging modality that uses radiolabelled molecules (tracers), provides quantitative tomographic images and allows non-invasive assessment of the biodistribution of radioactive substances in vivo. The assessment of pathological glucose metabolism is the clinically best-established application of PET today; however, a multitude of different tracers are available to assess diverse physiological processes. The growing interest in pre-clinical imaging studies, in biological and medical basic research, as well as in pharmaceutical research, has fostered the recent growth in small-animal PET. Small-animal PET can be applied to enable the transfer from molecular findings in vitro to in vivo applications in humans, from bench to bed side.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods*
  • Mice
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Radioactive Tracers
  • Rats
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Whole Body Imaging / methods


  • Radioactive Tracers