In recent years, new technologies have become available for imaging small animals. The use of animal models in basic and preclinical sciences, for example, offers the possibility of testing diagnostic markers and drugs, which is becoming crucial in the success and timeliness of research and is allowing a more efficient approach in defining study objectives and providing many advantages for both clinical research and the pharmaceutical industry. The use of these instruments offers data that are more predictive of the distribution and efficacy of a compound. The mouse, in particular, has become a key animal model system for studying human disease. It offers the possibility of manipulating its genome and producing accurate models for many human disorders, thus resulting in significant progress in understanding pathologenic mechanisms. In neurobiology, the possibility of simulating neurodegenerative diseases has enabled the development and validation of new treatment strategies based on gene therapy or cell grafting. Noninvasive imaging in small living animal models has gained increasing importance in preclinical research, itself becoming an independent specialty. The aim of this article is to review the characteristics of these systems and illustrate their main applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging