Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology

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Macroscale Hub

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) Hub

1.0 Objective
1.1 Organisation
1.2 Technical portfolio
1.3 Available PET Tracers
1.4 Project request procedure
1.5 Fees
1.6 Publications


1.0 Objective

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) are key imaging techniques to examine brain morphology and pathology in vivo. Synergistic effects may arise from the ability of PET to detect and quantify pathophysiological processes with very high sensitivity, and the ability of MRI to provide complementary morphological information due to the higher spatial resolution. Applying PET/MRI methods to preclinical animal models enables new (longitudinal) experimental designs and provides the potential for direct translation, thereby reducing the gap between clinical and experimental research. The SyNergy Macroscale Hub provides state-of-the-art preclinical scanners, imaging protocols, and processing pipelines for small animal PET/MRI.

Please contact the Macroscale Hub staff for project requests or further questions (

1.1 Organisation


Name Function Location Mail phone
Ulrike Schillinger project requests ISD 089-4400-46166

SyNergy Coordinators

Name Institution
Marco Düring Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research, LMU Klinikum
Martin Dichgans Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research, LMU Klinikum
Peter Bartenstein /
Sibylle Ziegler
Department of Nuclear Medicine, LMU Klinikum


1.2 Technical portfolio

• Small animal PET/MR scanner (Mediso Nanoscan 3T) at the CSD building.
• Small animal PET scanner (Siemens Inveon) and small animal PET/CT (Mediso) at the department of Nuclear Medicine.
• Characterization of mouse brain morphology using structural, molecular, metabolic and quantitative imaging.
• Established imaging protocols for scanning, processing and quantification.
• Collaboration with radiopharmaceutical lab on campus (Department of Nuclear Medicine) for synthesis of PET tracers and development of novel tracers.
• Collaboration with the MR physics department (Department of Radiology, Prof. Olaf Dietrich) for optimizing and establishing MR techniques.
• Isotope laboratory for tracer handling and a dedicated animal housing cabinet for keeping animals overnight for isotope decay.
• High performance workstations for image reconstruction and quantification
• Software licenses for special applications (e.g. PMOD)
• Access to high performance compute cluster (Linux, CPU and GPU) on-premises.


1.3 Available PET Tracers (selection)

Tracer Isotope Application
Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) 18F Glucose metabolism
GE-180 18F Translocator protein (TSPO), Microglia activation
Florbetaben 18F Amyloid beta plaque load quantification
PI-2620 18F Various tau targets (e.g. PHF and NFT)
Fluoroethyl-L-tyrosine (FET) 18F Aminoacid transport
Fluorothymidine (FLT) 18F Proliferation
UCB-H 18F Synaptic density
ML-10 18F Apoptosis


1.4 Project request procedure

 To get more information and for general inquiries, please get in touch via email (

To start a new project, researchers must submit a short proposal, containing an abstract and all relevant details for planning the project (such as number of animals, planned experiments, tracers, etc.). The number of simultaneous projects depends heavily on these parameters, especially number of animals, frequency of scans and duration of a measurement series.

If resources (in terms of measurement time) run short, projects will be selected based on feasibility and scientific impact by the hub coordinators.


1.5 Fees

The use of the scanner (including typical consumables, but excluding radiotracers) is free of charge for SyNergy tandem projects. Personnel can be provided (depending on availability) or own personnel can be trained by hub staff.

Radiotracers are not included and have to be provided through individual project funding.


1.6 Publications

Zhao et al., Cell 2020
Parhizkar et al., Nat Neurosci 2019
Focke et al., J Nucl Med 2019
Kleinberger et al., EMBO 2017