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Preclinical Imaging Centre Radboudumc

Contact Details

Radboud UMC

Geert Grooteplein 29 6525 EZ Nijmegen

Prof. dr. A.Heerschap

0031 (0)24 3614795

Hotel Description

The Preclinical Imaging Centre (PRIME) at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC) is a single-sited node for small animal imaging with state-of-the-art equipment and expertise for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET/CT), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT/CT), intravital multi-photon microscopy (MPM) and bioluminescence imaging (BLI). PRIME was founded in April 2010, combining all these modalities in one integrated, barrier-free preclinical animal imaging facility.
PRIME has offered open access to external users since its opening. In 2012, ca. 25 % of the experiments were carried out in cooperation with users from outside our institution (both academic and commercial partners from outside our institution). In the projects that are carried out in cooperation with external users, the scientists at PRIME (Prof.dr. A. Heerschap (MRI), Prof.dr. P. Friedl and Prof.dr. R. van Wezel (MPM), Dr. M. Brom (PET/CT and SPECT/CT), Dr. M. Rijpkema(BLI), Prof. dr. C. de Korte( Ultrasound Imaging) and Dr. A. Kiliaan( Behavoir & cognition facilities) and Dr. J. Glennon (behavior) are involved in the design of the experiments, the selection and synthesis of the probes used in the studies, the image acquisition protocols, image processing, image analysis and reporting of the results.

PRIME is acknowledged as an Euro-Bioimaging node candidate.


  • Biomedical & health
  • Other
  • Animal handling and monitoring( e.g. anesthesia)
  • Tissue and blod characterization (laboratory facilities)
  • Image data processing
  • Cell biology
  • Physiology
  • Metabolism
  • Oncology
  • Behavior and cognition

Expertise and Track Record

40-43500-98-4161 Hyperpolarized 13C pyruvate MRI for metabolic mapping of the failing zebrafish heart with M. Froeling (UMC Utrecht). 43500984148 In vivo chemistry: Evaluation of biocompatible clearing agents for pretargeted radioimmunoimaging with L. Brunsveld (TU Eindhoven). 43500984134 HYPNOS – Hyperpolarization in Nanoparticles Of Silicon with J.M.J. Paulusse (Twente University). 43500984059 Novel tumor-targeted nanocarriers for effective delivery of alpha radionuclide therapy with A.G. Denkova (TU Delft). 43500984020 Dose-finding and efficacy-testing of an osteo-inductive carrier containing alendronate and testosterone in a MIA-induced osteoarthritis rat model with M.I. Koenders (Radboudumc)

PRIME is the only centre in the Netherlands where more than four imaging modalities for small animal imaging are housed under the roof in one facility. Worldwide there are only a few other institutes with comparable facilities. PRIME offers state-of-the art equipment and expertise for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET/CT), single photon emission computed resonance imaging (SPECT/CT), intravital multi-photon fluorescence imaging (MPM), bioluminescence imaging (BLI)and behavior and cognition facilities.
The scientific excellence of PRIME is reflected by the scientific achievements of the imaging scientists working in PRIME such as Prof.dr. Peter Friedl (German Cancer Award 2008, VICI laureate 2010, H-index: 61, 320 publications), Prof.dr. Arend Heerschap (H-index: 50, 394 publications), Prof.dr. Otto C. Boerman (H-index: 55, 360 publications).
PRIME is flanked by the Microscopical Imaging Centre which houses 28 microscopic instruments used for post-imaging sample analysis, such as confocal microscopy, detection of molecular states, and large/field tissue scanning from histology slides. Moreover, at the Science faculty the Physical Chemistry group has a large HR NMR facility (Goudsmit pavilion) including 500 and 600 MHz systems that can be used for NMR and HR MAS (we have our own 1H / 13C HRMAS probe) of body fluid, tissue extracts or intact tissue.

Several groups at the Radboud umc produce unique probes for physiological and targeted imaging with MRI, optical methods and radionuclide imaging. A cyclotron facility is available to produce radionuclide compounds on demand.

PRIME  has well trained and competent personnel to plan and execute the proposed research, product testing, instructional course or demonstration. Our biotechnical staff can assist you with various technical activities varying from injections of compounds by all recognized routes and collection of tissue for further analysis up to complex surgical procedures.

1. PRIME hosts 7 independent Proof-of-concept studies within EuroBioImaging (www. eurbioimaging.eu).
2. PRIME hosts projects with 10 academic partners (University Naples – I, Kings College – UK, Univ. Pamplona – I, Univ. Freiburg – D, Amsterdam Med. Ctr. – NL, Leiden Univ. Med. Ctr. – NL, Tech. Univ. Twente – NL, Tech. Univ. Delft – NL, TNO – NL, Maastricht University – NL, University Coimbra – PT, University Bern – CH, Democritos – GR, a.o.)
3. PRIME hosts projects with 9 industrial partners (Roche (5x), Novartis, Sanofi, Synaffix, Bayer Healthcare, Merck Darmstadt, Xenikos, Future Chemistry,Covidien a.o.).

4. PRIME is acknowledged as an Euro-Bioimaging node candidate.

5. PRIME hosts a project with Tecniplast for better housing and research purposes of mice in DVC (Digital Ventitaled Cages).


For all these projects the scientists working in PRIME are involved in the design of the experiments, the selection and the synthesis of the probes used in the studies, the image acquisition protocols, image processing, image analysis and reporting of the results.

We have special probes and expertise to perform multi modality research combining MPM, PET/CT, Ultrasound, MRI and Optical Imaging.

  • Alexander S, Weigelin B, Winkler F, Friedl P (2013) Preclinical intravital microscopy of the tumour-stroma interface: invasion, metastasis, and therapy response. Curr. Opin. Cell. Biol. Oct;25(5):659-71.
  • Wiesmann M, Zinnhardt B, Reinhardt D, Eligehausen S, Wachsmuth L, Hermann S, Dederen PJ, Hellwich M, Kuhlmann MT, Broersen LM, Heerschap A, Jacobs AH, Kiliaan AJ. A specific dietary intervention to restore brain structure and function after ischemic stroke.Theranostics. 2017 Jan 6;7(2):493-512ke.
  • Wiesmann M, Zerbi V, Jansen D, Haast R, Lütjohann D, Broersen LM, Heerschap A, Kiliaan AJ.A Dietary Treatment Improves Cerebral Blood Flow and Brain Connectivity in Aging apoE4 Mice. Neural Plast. 2016;2016:6846721
  • Wiesmann M, Roelofs M, van der Lugt R, Heerschap A, Kiliaan AJ, Claassen JA. Angiotensin II, hypertension, and angiotensin II receptor antagonism: Roles in the behavioural and brain pathology of a mouse model of Alzheimer's diseaJ Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2016 Jan 1:271678X16667364se.
  • Haberl MG, Zerbi V, Veltien A, Ginger M, Heerschap A, Frick A. Structural-functional connectivity deficits of neocortical circuits in the Fmr1 (-/y) mouse model of autism. Sci Adv. 2015 Nov 20;1(10):e1500775
  • Heskamp S, Heijmen L, Gerrits D, Molkenboer-Kuenen JD, Ter Voert EG, Heinzmann K, Honess DJ, Smith DM, Griffiths JR, Doblas S, Sinkus R, Laverman P, Oyen WJ, Heerschap A, Boerman OC. Response Monitoring with [18F]FLT PET and Diffusion-Weighted MRI After Cytotoxic 5-FU Treatment in an Experimental Rat Model for Colorectal Liver Metastases. Mol Imaging Biol. 2016 Oct 31
  • Willekens SM, van der Kroon I, Bos D, Joosten L, Frielink C, Boerman OC, Brom M, Gotthardt M. Quantitative and longitudinal imaging of intramuscular transplanted islets of Langerhans with SPECT using [ 123 I]IBZM. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2017 Apr;19(4):604-608
  • Steens SC, Bekers EM, Weijs WL, Litjens GJ, Veltien A, Maat A, van den Broek GB, van der Laak JA, Fütterer JJ, van der Kaa CA, Merkx MA, Takes RP.Evaluation of tongue squamous cell carcinoma resection margins using ex-vivo MR. Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg. 2017 May;12(5):821-828.
  • Hoogenboom M, Eikelenboom D, den Brok MH, Veltien A, Wassink M, Wesseling P, Dumont E, Fütterer JJ, Adema GJ, Heerschap A.In vivo MR guided boiling histotripsy in a mouse tumor model evaluated by MRI and histopathology.NMR Biomed. 2016 Jun;29(6):721-31
  • Nunes PM, Wright AJ, Veltien A, van Asten JJ, Tack CJ, Jones JG, Heerschap A. Dietary lipids do not contribute to the higher hepatic triglyceride levels of fructose- compared to glucose-fed mice.FASEB J. 2014 May;28(5):1988-97.

Apart from operating as an Euro-BioImaging node, PRIME has contributed or contributes to the following networks:
EU programs;ENCITE (P. Friedl);EMIL (P. Friedl, A. Heerschap);BETAIMAGE (O. Boerman);FAST (A. Heerschap);IMI (O. Boerman, A. Heerschap);Multiterm (A. Heerschap, O. Boerman);iTERM (A. Heerschap);TRANSACT (A. Heerschap);Bioimaging NL / Netherlands Road Map Microscopy (P. Friedl, node leader intravital microscopy)

Hotel Characteristics

  • Dedicated Postdocs and PhDs 15fte
  • Dedicated (bio)technicians 15fte
  • Proces coordinator 1fte
  • Biostaticians 2fte
  • IT-Specialist 1fte


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging; 7 and 11.7T Bruker
  • Radionuclide Imaging; microPET/CT and microSPECT/CT
  • Optical Imaging System; IVIS Lumina
  • Two-photon fluorescence Microscopy
  • High frequency Ultrasound System; Vevo-2100
  • Behavior and Cognition Facilities


Local data storage and with the journals in which the results have been published. A central data repository in work in progress