PRECLINICAL METABOLIC DISORDERS
Metabolic disease research has intensified around the role of metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT), which has offered a therapeutic target in diabetes. Non-invasive pre-clinical imaging of BAT will enable longitudinal assessment of metabolic changes and may facilitate development of novel treatment therapies. Positron emission tomography (PET) / computed tomography (CT) is a routinely used molecular imaging technique to assess functional characterization of BAT activity, but suffers from relatively poor spatial resolution and requires the use of ionizing radiation. MSOT has shown promising results in non-invasive, label-free measurements of BAT metabolism and differentiation between diseased and healthy states. A multi-modal approach of using MSOT in combination with PET/ magnetic resonance imaging has demonstrated the potential to advance the preclinical screening of biomarkers that promote browning of the fat, with the possibility of translating these discoveries into clinical studies in humans.