The Euro-BioImaging Italian Molecular Imaging Node Candidate (Multi-sited Multi-Modal Molecular Imaging Node – MMMI) focuses on biomedical imaging, offering the acquisition of “in vivo” images by means of the most relevant imaging modalities. The MMMI Node is distributed over four Italian cities (Turin, Milan, Naples and Pisa), with Centers specialized on different imaging modalities, reporters and animal models.
A multi-sited Node allows to organize the different know-how, experimental facilities, research experience and interests of the different sites into a network where the different "souls" contributing to the molecular imaging field can interact giving shape to new concepts and applications for life sciences. Thus, the merging of all available imaging modalities, instruments and expertises in the multi-sited node will allow to respond to the needs of a greater number of users.
The Node possesses all the facilities of high relevance for the offered imaging technologies: PET/SPECT/CT/MRI/MRS/OI/US scanners are installed and working. Experienced researchers and technicians in the different branches of molecular imaging are available to assist the users both in project planning and in carrying out the activities on site. Animal facilities and cell laboratories are fully operative in all the Centers of the MMMI Node and are available for the users' needs. Well equipped chemistry laboratories and a staff of chemists expert in the preparation and characterzation of imaging probes are available for specific users’ requests. Repositories of molecular probes are also available and will be integrated in a single access point. Image analysis softwares are well developed and dedicated image processing procedures may be offered by the on-site staff at each of the involved Centers. Radiochemistry laboratories are also available for the preparation of radiolabeled probes.
The skills and activities at the sites of the MMMI Node are highly complementary and enable the Node to provide a largely diversified portfolio of molecular imaging experiments for the user access.
Site 1 (Turin) participates in the Node with the laboratories of the University of Torino located at the Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences (Center for Molecular Imaging - CIM) and at the BioIndustry Park Silvano Fumero (Center of Excellence for Preclinical Imaging - CEIP). It offers specific expertise in the field of probe design, development and evaluation both in cell cultures and in small animal models (probes for all the different imaging modalities, including hybrid modalities, and for different biological applications such as visualization of biological parameters and enzyme activities, targeting of specific cells/tissues, etc.).
Site 2 (Pisa) participates with the CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology (IFC), the Dept. of Physics of the University of Pisa and the Toscana G. Monasterio Foundation (FTGM). It holds an internationally recognised reputation in the study of cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary and metabolic disorders. The experimental and clinical expertise in these fields is integrated with the competence in the development of molecular imaging instrumentation and imaging software.
Site 3 (Milan) participates with the CNR Intitute of Bioimaging and Molecular Physiology (IBFM) and the Experimental Imaging Center of the Scientific Institute San Raffaele (EIC HSR). It offers expertise in PET/SPECT based molecular Imaging, from radiopharmaceutical development to preclinical as well as clinical application (study of brain neurotransmission systems, amyloid plaques, activated microglia cells and for the in vivo imaging of biochemical pathways involved in cancer), and in the study of animal models of human deseases.
Site 4 (Naples) participates with the IRCCS Nuclear Diagnostic Institution (SDN) and the CNR Institute for Biostructures and BioImaging (IBB). It offers a multidisciplinary staff (chemists, biotechnologists, medical doctors, physicist, engineers, Vet Doctors, radiochemists), with skills and expertise in the fields of neurology, cardiology, and oncology. The preclinical activities in Naples are strongly linked to Medical Imaging, thus favouring translation of animal results to human patients.