Carl Tucker, Richard Collins, Martin A Denvir, Wendy A McDougald*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Decades of research have confirmed the beneficial and advantageous use of zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model of human disease in biomedical studies. Not only are 71% of human genes shared with the zebrafish many of these genes are linked to human diseases. Currently, numerous transgenic and mutant genetic zebrafish lines are now widely available for use in research. Furthermore, zebrafish are relatively inexpensive to maintain compared to rodents. However, a limiting factor to fully utilising adult zebrafish in research is not the fish but the technological imaging tools available. In order to increase the utilization of adult zebrafish, which are not naturally transparent, requires new imaging approaches. Therefore, this feasibility study: (1) presents an innovative designed PET/CT adult zebrafish imaging platform, capable of maintaining normal aquatic physiology during scanning; (2) assesses the practical aspects of adult zebrafish imaging; and (3) set basic procedural guidelines for zebrafish imaging during a PET/CT acquisition. Methods: With computer aided design (CAD) software an imaging platform was developed for 3D printing. A 3D printed zebrafish model was created from a CT acquisition of a zebrafish using the CAD software. This model and subsequently euthanised zebrafish were imaged post-injection using different concentrations of the radiotracer [18F]FDG with CT contrast. Results: PET/CT imaging was successful, revealing levels as low as 0.01 MBq could be detected in the fish. In the zebrafish imaging post-injection distribution of the radiotracer was observed away from the injection site as well as tissue uptake. Potential preliminary husbandry and welfare guidelines for the fish during and after PET/CT imaging were determined. Conclusion: Using PET/CT for adult zebrafish imaging as a viable non-invasive technological tool is feasible. Adult zebrafish PET/CT imaging has the potential to be a key imaging technique offering the possibilities of enhanced biomedical understanding and new translational data sets.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Preclinical PET/CT
  • 3D printing
  • Zebrafish
  • radiotracer [18F]FDG


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