Towards in vivo nuclear microscopy: Iodine-125 imaging in mice using micro-pinholes

Freek J. Beekman, David P. McElroy, Frank Berger, Sanjiv S. Gambhir, Edward J. Hoffman, Simon R Cherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Position-sensitive gamma-radiation detectors equipped with collimators have been used for in vivo imaging of the distribution of radiolabelled molecules in laboratory animals and humans for several decades. To date, the best image resolution achieved in a rodent is on the order of 1 mm. Here we demonstrate how a basic and compact gamma camera can be constructed for in vivo radionuclide imaging in small animals, at much higher spatial resolution. Resolution improvements were obtained by combining dense, shaped, micro-pinhole apertures with iodine-125, an isotope with low energy emissions, ease of incorporation into a wide range of molecules, and straightforward translation into the clinic via other isotopes of iodine that are suitable for nuclear medicine imaging. 125I images of test distributions and a mouse thyroid have been obtained at a resolution of as high as 200 μm using this simple bench-top camera. Possible future applications and extension to ultra-high-resolution emission tomography are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-938
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal Of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002


  • Iodine
  • Mouse
  • Pinhole imaging
  • SPET
  • Thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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