Researchers from the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have built the first positron emission tomography (PET) scanner that is suitable for rats and other small rodents.
A PET scan shows how the bodyâ€™s tissues and organs are functioning, but requires the subject to stay still in order to generate clear images. This is a simple enough instruction for humans, but not so easy to convey to rats.
Until now, itâ€™s been difficult to run a PET scan on the brain of a rodent that hasnâ€™t been anesthetized.
The new device, which uses a microchip and photosensors called avalanche photodiodes, attaches to a ratâ€™s head and weighs very little.