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Platform for Molecular and Functional Imaging at CIC biomaGUNE (CIC biomaGUNE)
Hosting Legal Entity
Centre for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials
Paseo Miramon 182, San Sebastián, PO: 20014 (Spain)
Paseo Miramón 182, Edificio Empresarial C, San Sebastián, PO: 20009, Gipuzkoa (Spain)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
Current Status:
Operational since 2010
Scientific Description
CIC biomaGUNE is a non-profit research organisation created in 2006 by the Basque Government to promote scientific research and technological innovation related to biomaterials. The Centre comprises 11 international research teams conducting high-level research at the interface between chemistry, physics and biology, with particular emphasis on the properties and applications of molecular-level biological nanostructures. The main research lines lie within the design, preparation and characterization of biofunctional nanostructures and their in vitro and in vivo biological evaluation. CIC biomaGUNE’s cutting-edge infrastructure includes the Molecular Imaging Facility, a reference platform in Europe in the field of molecular and functional pre-clinical imaging. In 2018 earned the accreditation “María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence”- the highest recognition of scientific excellence in Spain awarded by the Spanish State Research Agency.Housed within 900 m2, the Molecular and Functional Imaging Facility at CIC biomaGUNE is an integrated bioimaging structure that offers state-of-the-art preclinical imaging instrumentation in Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography(SPECT), Computerized Tomography(CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI), Optical/Fluorescence and Ultrasound (US) Imaging.It includes a fully equipped radiochemistry laboratory with a biomedical cyclotron, advanced microscopy equipment, a dedicated animal housing facility for rodents which holds AAALAC accreditation, and complementary equipment including gamma spectrometry and autoradiography.The Facility is currently integrated in the “Distributed BiomedicalImaging Network” (ReDIB,, recognized by the SpanishGovernment as a Singular Scientific and Technical Infrastructure (ICTS).The infrastructure has been designed, built and equipped to tackle longitudinal and multimodal pre-clinical projects and to develop applications in the area of Preclinical Molecular and Functional Imaging and Nanomedicine.

RI Keywords
Nuclear analytical methods, Nuclear & radiological sciences, Optical microscopy, Ultrasound, Magnetic resonance imaging, Radiochemistry, Animal facilities, Pre-clinical research
RI Category
Animal facilities
Biomedical Imaging Facilities
Scientific Domain
Chemistry and Material Sciences
Biological and Medical Sciences
ESFRI Domain
Health and Food
Animal Facility

It provides users with the assessment and necessary equipment (preparations and microsurgery rooms) to carry out research on laboratory animals (rodents). We also procure care and ensure the welfare of the animals, ensuring all legal and ethical standards concerning the use of animals for research. The Animal Unit Platform is an AAALAC accredited facility since 2015 and accreditation has been renewed in 2018.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI) platform is equipped with: • MRI 11.7T/16 cm (117/16 USR)operating at proton resonance frequency of 500 MHz • MRI 7T/30 cm (70/30 USR) operating at proton resonance frequency of 300 MHz • Dedicated RF-coils of different sizes optimized for in vivo and ex vivo MR imaging on rat and mouse brain, body or heart • Heteronuclear coils allowing 13C, 19F and 31P acquisitions • MRI-compatible physiological monitoring systems


The Radiochemistry platform is equipped with: • IBA Cyclone 18/9 cyclotron with targets for the routine production of several positron emitters or direct activation of nanomaterials. • 6 hot cells which house automaticremote controlled synthesis modules • A shielded laminar flow cabinet • State of the art quality control equipment, including radio-HPLC, radio-GC, radio-MS, radio-TLC and a multichannel energy analyzer. • A fully equipped laboratory for radioactive metabolite analysis in blood and tissue samples and a cell culture lab for in vitro studies with radiolabeled ligands. The versatility of the instruments allows the synthesis of a wide range of well-known PET and SPECT radiotracers, as well as the design of new labeled structures to undertake pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies.

Pre-clinical Image Analytics

The Image Analytics service takes care of processing all the outcoming multimodal images obtained within the Molecular Imaging Unit (PET, SPECT, CT, MRI and Optical Imaging). Working on different operating systems, we carry out co-registration, segmentation, and quantification of multimodal images. Moreover, we also work with Matlab, FSL and IDL in the development of analysis and processing algorithms. The combination of all multimodal imaging techniques confined in the Imaging Unit with a reliable image analysis process offers a complete and powerful Imaging facility to researchers.

Nuclear Imaging

The platform is designed to perform in vivo studies from various imaging modalities in SPECT and CT. The combination of these potent and noninvasive imaging techniques facilitates performing multimodal approaches to biological, physiological and medical problems, obtaining images with rich functional and anatomical information. It is equipped with small animal dedicated: • Hybrid PET-CT (eXplore Vista-CT) • SPECT-CT (eXplore speCZT-CT120) • PET-SPECT-CT trimodal system (β, γ and X-CUBES, MOLECUBES) • Optical imaging system (Kodak In- Vivo Imaging System Fx Pro) • Autoradiography system for end point-high resolution nuclear imaging

Access Type
Access Mode
Excellence Driven
Access Webpage
Users Definition
Teams of individual researchers
Date of last update: 22/02/2019
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