Preclinical imaging research undertaken at the University of Manchester investigates biology in health and disease with the aim of providing information that can be translated into clinical studies. We also use preclinical imaging to address questions that arise directly from clinical imaging.


Current Activities

Pre-clinical imaging research undertaken at the University of Manchester provides a platform for: Basic biological research into physiology and pathology in animal models:

  • Appetite regulation
  • Psychiatric disease
  • Neuro-inflammation and stroke
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Oncology
  • Vascular physiology and angiogenesis

Pain drug discovery:

  • Screening of drugs for efficacy
  • Development of imaging-based biomarkers of treatment effects
  • Early phase testing of new agents

Translational research to inform clinical applications:

  • New biomarkers
  • Dose ranging and proof-of-concept for new agents



Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Preclinical PET imaging is based at WMIC. We have a Siemens Inveon Multimodality PET-CT scanner which uses a range of commercial radiotracers

We have specific experience in using the following radiotracersincluding:

[18F] FDG (produced off-site) – binds in tissues with high glycolysis rate


[18F] FAZA – binds in tissues with low O2 concentration


[18F] FLT – binds in tissues with high proliferation rate


[18F] DPA-714 – TSPO ligand


[11C] Leucine – amino acid tracer


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

The 7T MRI scanner is a (2009) Bruker Avance III console interfaced to a 7T, 16cm internal bore Magnex magnet. It is equipped with 740mTm-1 gradients, a range of rf coils, physiological monitoring and an anaesthetic delivery system. It is located in the Stopford Building on the University’s main Oxford Road campus.

We also have a 3T MRI scanner in WMIC. This is a benchtop system (MRS 3000 Series MRI System, MR Solutions, UK) and is equipped with mouse and rat head and volume coils, physiological monitoring and an anaesthetic delivery system.

The animal bed (Minerve Small Animal Environment System Bioscan, France) is interchangeable between the 3T MRI scanner and the PET-CT scanner, allowing PET and MRI scans sequentially on the same animal and excellent co-registration.

Image Guided Radiotherapy

Image-guided micro-irradiation for studies is provided via the SARRP research platform (Xstrahl) in the WMIC building which incorporates CT imaging with precise radiation delivery to enable precise delivery of radiation to anatomical sites, mimicking facilities used in the clinic.

Computed Tomography (CT)

Multi-scale high resolution CT capability is provided by the Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility, which is located on the University’s Oxford Road campus, and includes the following six scanners which cover resolutions from sub-millimetre down to 50nm:

  • Rapiscan RTT20 prototype
  • Metris 320kv custom bay
  • Metris XTH 225
  • Xradia microXCT
  • Gatan XuM
  • Xradia nanoXCT

More information can be found at the Henry Moseley X-ray imaging facility.

Applying to use the facilities

Information on accessing the pre-clinical facilities can be found at Using the Facilities


WMIC reception
T: +44 (0) 161 275 0000