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Department of Bio-Medical Imaging


Director Takahiro Higuchi
Laboratory Chiefs Kazuhiro Koshino
Research Staff Jun-ichiro Enmi
Postdoctoral Fellows Naoya Kondo, Mitsuru Hirano, Satoshi Iguchi
Research Fellows Miho Yamauchi
Visiting Researchers Mineyuki Hattori, Yasuhiro Magata, Hideaki Fujiwara, Ikuo Yokoyama, Masayuki Inubushi, Shozo Furumoto, Fumihiko Yasuno, Ikuhiro Kida, Takanobu Yagi, Hidekazu Kawashima, Kazuki Aita
Trainees Tetsuya Akamatsu, Hiroshi Sato, Masaki Takio, Mami Masuda, Yoshimasa Yoshida, Kazuya Tawara, Akihiro Kobayashi, Yoshitaka Sanda, Toshiyuki Aoi, Kiwamu Matsuoka

Research Activities

The Department of bio-medical imaging has been developing methodological tools for image-based diagnosis, using Nuclear Medicine (PET and SPECT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging techniques. A new image processing theory and new mathematical models have been established for the quantitative in vivo assessment of several biological and physiological functions. Also, a new theory and a new mathematical modeling for the analysis of the tracer kinetics have been developed in order to improve the temporal and spatial resolution of existing techniques. We are also aiming at applying these methodologies to investigate the pathophysiology of ischemic diseases both in the brain and in the heart. Recent research topics from our group are presented in the following.

Towards molecular imaging

We have been extensively working along quantitative assessment of bio-physiological functions in vivo using PET and MRI. The aim of this is for developing a system for drug development. Several radioligands have been developed, to which our own methodology of the data analysis have been applied for accurate quantitation.

Image catalogue of the molecular imaging

Imaging in ischemic stroke

We have developed a rapid methodology for quantitative assessment of cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism using PET and O-15 labeled ligands. This is being tested for accurate diagnosis of the reversibility of brain tissue in the cerebral ischemia. These techniques can also be used for the development of neuroprotectives.

Motion of the subject is the most serious source of errors in PET, particularly when assessing high resolution images. Fixation gives significant stress in the subject, and often makes neuro-physiological assessment difficult. We have developed a novel system that automatically monitor and correct for the patient movement. Our results demonstrates that the spatial resolution is dramatically improved, and the system becomes extremely kind for subject.


Imaging in myocardial diseases

A series of O-15 labeled molecules are to be used in the assessment of myocardial blood flow and oxidative metabolism. We have developed various methods for accurate diagnosis in patients with suspected or established cardiac disorders. The technique is being applied also to evaluate the tissue transplantation therapy.

Small animal imaging (Micro SPECT)

A unique technique has been developed for functional/molecular imaging in small animals such as rat and mouse. The key idea is to acquire the SPECT projection data sets with completeness. This enabled homogeneous or non-distorted images in vivo both for rat and mouse imaging.

Completeness in pinhole SPECT

SPECT acquisition with two different orbits allows the completeness in pinhole SPECT.

Completeness supported by two orbit acquisition

Imaging in a mouse

A mouse scan with a complete acquisition


Quantitation of myocardial blood flow in a mouse

This system allows quantitation of bio-physiological functions in small animals, Myocardial blood flow and potassium potential can be assessed with this system.


Imaging of cognitive/neuronal functions

To clarify the pathophysiological mechanism specific to various neurological diseases is one of the urgent challenging problem in modern medicine.

We have built up the evaluation technique for dopaminergic function in Perkinson's disease with PET using the macaque models.

We have analyzed cerebral regions responsible to rhythm, pitch and timbre perception to figure up the mechanism of emotional response evoked by musical stimulus using functional MRI techniques.

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