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Preclinical imaging

Course organisers

Michael Gottschalk, e-mail

Ritha Gidlöf, e-mail


Gunilla Westergren-Thorsson

Target group

People active in research using or intending to use preclinical imaging in their work. The course is primarily intended for doctoral students, but postdoctoral and other researchers may also be admitted if there are available slots.

Time and location

March 7-25, spring 2022, in Lund.


3 hp (part-time)

Number of participants





Finished education in medicine, biomedicine, engineering or natural science.


The aim of the course is to make available techniques for preclinical imaging accessible to researchers. This is done through a basic introduction to the techniques with examples from current research as well as hands on exercises. The intent is that the future researcher should gain the necessary knowledge to select the best technique(s) to answer a particular scientific question.


The course covers the following topics:


- Basic components of the MR-system

- Relaxation effects (T1, T2, T2*)

- Image contrast as a function of relaxation and image parameters such as TR and TE

- The principles of image generation: basic pulse sequences such as spin echo and gradient echo

- The relation between signal, noise, resolution and other image parameters

- Specific issues with the usage of high fields in preclinical MRI

- The function of contrast agents

- Functional techniques such as fMRI, DWI, MRS and perfusion MRI

PET/SPECT/CT and radiochemistry

- Technical principles of PET, SPECT and CT

- Fields of application

- Similarities/differences between PET and SPECT and their potential for quantification

- Workflow from injection to image and image analysis

- The most common radionuclides and tracers

- The work with synthesis of radiotracers

TEM/SEM and advanced light microscopy

- Technical principles of the different microscopes in the course

- Fields of application and differences/similarities between light- and electron microscopy

- Sample preparation and workflow

- Analysis and posttreatment (with e.g. virtual reality) of microscopy data

 Ethical aspects of animal handling

Course structure and examination

The first two weeks include lectures in the mornings (the afternoons being free) and the course is given on half time during this period. The last week is given on full time with laboratory exercises and work with and presentation of the individual project. The laboratory exercise and preparation of the individual project are to be done in groups, but an individual report and oral presentation is mandatory, where each course participant is presenting their part. Active participation in all parts of the course is required.

Course literature

Handouts and the necessary scientific articles for the individual project.


The course is now open for application.

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