Human Research PET

Human Research PET


The ECAT High Resolution Research Tomograph (HRRT) is a dedicated human brain PET camera developed and commercialized by CTI/Siemens and installed at the BIC in 2007, with a design which enables the acquisition of images with high sensitivity and high spatial resolution, still remaining unmatched in 2020 by commercial human PET cameras. Only seventeen HRRT cameras have been installed around the world, playing a key role in many advances in the field of neuroscience due to their ability to resolve very small structures of the brain.

The camera has a bore opening of 35 cm diameter and a field of view (FoV) extending over 25 cm axially and 31.2 cm radially, making it possible to image at once the whole human head. Its excellent spatial resolution of 2.4 mm at the centre of the FoV is achived by the small size of its 119,808 crystals (2.1 x 2.1 x 10 mm3) distributed over 8 flat detector panels in an octogonal design and by the quadrant sharing photomultiplier tubes (PMT) design. With the aim of improving the camera's sensitivity, which reaches 4.3% at the centre of the FoV, and the isotropy of the spatial resolution across its FoV, through the determination of the depth of interation (DOI), the crystals are arranged in a dual layer configuration with a front layer of Lutetium Orthosilicate (LSO) and a back layer of Lutetium Yttrium Orthosilicate (LYSO).

Data is acquired in list mode, allowing post acquisition flexibility for temporal sampling of the dynamic studies and with the axial sampling of the oblique plans. The attenuation map is obtained with a fast acquisition in transmission using a Cs-137 source. List mode data are reconstructed into static images or time series of images using state-of-the-art image reconstruction methods with all the corrections for the standard degradation factors of PET image quality. The qualitative and quantitative images degradation induced by the subject's motion during the scan acquisition is compensated with an in-house motion correction technique.

PET Tracer Catalogue

We feature the largest catalog of tracers in Canada, that are all produced onsite in our research-dedicated cyclotron and radiochemistry laboratory. Please contact the Director of Cyclotron to inquire about the production of other tracers not featured in the list.








Highly selective antagonist tracer for imaging the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5)

[11C]FLB 457

For imaging D2 dopamine receptors in extrastriatal brain regions



High-affinity ligand of the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2)


beta-Amyloid binding agent for imaging amyloid plaques


  Dopamine D2 receptor antagonist

[11C]SCH 23390


  Dopamine D1 receptor antagonist



  Imaging the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) in the human brain.

[11C] Martinostat


  Selective binding to I/IIb HDAC enzymes. For use in Dementia and Addiction research.



  Serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptor agonist PET radioligands. Addiction research.
[11C]alpha-Methyl-L-Tryptophan   For serotonin synthesis


Acetamide, N-((2-(methoxy-11C)-phenyl)methyl)-N-(6-phenoxy-3-pyridinyl)-

  Ligand of the mitochondrial Translocator Protein (TSPO; formerly designated as the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor), found in activated microglia (inflammation marker). Shows less non-specific binding than 11C-PK 11195.

[11C]PK 11195

  Ligand of the mitochondrial Translocator Protein (TSPO), found in activated microglia (inflammation marker)


  Also a ligand of the mitochondrial Translocator Protein (TSPO), found in activated microglia (inflammation marker). Shows less non-specific binding than 11C-PK 11195, and is labelled with 18F, allowing for more widespread distribution.



  For imaging TSPO. A biomarker of the new generation for Neuroinflammation.


(S)-N-(1-allyl-2-pyrrolidinyl)methyl-5-(3-[18F]fluoropropyl)-2, 3-dimethoxybenzamide

  Dopamine D2 receptor antagonist with high affinity, allowing cortical D2r visualisation


  Ligand of the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A; agonist


  Ligand of the serotonin receptor 5-HT2A; agonist


(-)-(2R,3R)-trans-2-hydroxy-3-(4-phenylpiperidino)-5-(2-[18F ]fluoroethoxy)-1,2,3,4-tetralin


Radioligand of the vesicular acethylcoline transporter (VAChT). Still investigational (used in only models at this time)


  PET imaging agent for Tau


2-[(18)F]Fluoroethyl-choline ([(18)F]FECH) 

A tracer for the detection of prostate cancer


  A novel radiotracer for imaging choline metabolism in tumors


  Fluoromisonidazole for the detection of hypoxia



  F-18 tracer (version) of [11C]-UCB-J



  beta-Amyloid binding agent for imaging amyloid plaques


Ethyl 8-(18F)fluoranyl-5-methyl-6-oxo-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine-3-carboxylate
  Ligand of the benzodiazepine receptor (cBZR) found on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA-A) receptors


  Glucose analog



  2nd generation of tau tracers. Dementia research.


  2nd generation of tau tracers. Dementia research.


  2nd generation of tau tracers. Dementia research.


  2nd generation of tau tracers. Dementia research.



  PET ligand for the P2X7 ion channel
[15O]Water    [15O] water is used for measuring regional cerebral blood flow

PET Analysis

Receptor Parametric Mapping

RPM is a package for Neuroreceptor Parametric Imaging Statistics. This incorporates both parameter and error estimation from a compartmental description of the radioligand. 

Head motion correction

Coregistration based method to realign time-frames to a target volume and remove the mismatches with the attenuation transmission. This approach is implemented for the PET cameras installed at BIC : HR+ and HRRT.


DOPAPET is full-atomated pipeline for PET data to assess radioligand bindings to receptors in the brain regions segmented with MINC tools. A voxel-wise mapping can be performed for a precise detection of the bindings.

Our Team

Our PET staff is supported in part by a generous donation from the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation.

Dr Jean-Paul Soucy Medical Director
Christian Janicki Radiation Safety Officer
Stephan Blinder Academic Associate
Reda Bouhachi Systems Manager
Karen Ross Micro PET Unit, Research Assistant
Hung-Hsin Hsiao Research Technician
Arturo Aliaga Research Technician
Lynda Bray Administrative Coordinator


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