PET ex vivo Radiometabolite Laboratory (PERL)

The PET ex vivo Radiometabolite Laboratory (PERL) is a facility of the Stony Brook University PET Research Core. It is dedicated to the ex vivo analysis of blood and other tissue samples to support preclinical and clinical PET imaging at Stony Brook University. The laboratory has comprehensive facilities for radioanalytical chemistry.

The laboratory is directed by Professor Wenchao Qu, PhD.

The PET Research Core is directed by Professor Mark Slifstein PhD.

PET Research at Stony Brook University is directed by Professor Ramin Parsey, MD PhD, Della Pietra Family Chair of Biomedical Imaging. 

Services provided

  • Baseline and post injection blood chemistry
  • Assay of whole blood, serum or plasma radioactivity
  • Ex vivo analysis of radiopharmaceuticals and their metabolites in both blood and tissue samples

PERL is a fully equipped laboratory adjacent to the PET/MRI imaging facility which is able to:

  • Perform basic blood chemistry on baseline blood samples
  • Perform basic blood chemistry on radioactive blood samples
  • Assay radioactivity in whole blood, serum or plasma
  • Analyze whole blood samples for free radiopharmaceutical fraction
  • Analyze serum samples for intact radiopharmaceutical and radiometabolites
  • Analyze other tissue samples for radiopharmaceutical and radiometabolites

These analyses are essential for the correct modeling of radiopharmaceutical uptake and retention.

iSTAT Blood analyzer

The facility is equipped with an iSTAT blood analyzer for the determination of simple blood chemistry such as glucose hematocrit levels in whole blood.

Sample preparation

The metabolite lab is equipped with two clinical centrifuges for the isolation of plasma or serum samples. Additional centrifuges are available for ultrafiltration and for the determination of free and bound radiopharmaceutical in whole blood samples.

Gamma Counting

The metabolite lab is equipped with a Perkin Elmer Wizard 2480 fully automatic gamma counter for the counting of radioactive samples. This detector has a 3" NaI(Tl) crystal and 1 ½" of lead shielding and is optimal for counting PET radioisotopes with minimal background and crosstalk.


The Laboratory is fully equipped to perform rapid solid phase extraction metabolite analysis. This technique is ideally suited for the analysis of multiple blood samples.

High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)


The laboratory is equipped with two Agilent HPLC systems with LabLogic PosiRam coincidence flow gamma counters. These systems offer high sensitivity detection of intact radiopharmaceuticals and radio metabolites in serum samples.

Future Developments

The MART facility is now open for research PET imaging on the MiE Scintron. The Bahl Molecular Imaging Laboratory (BMIL) is part of the MART facility and houses a GE PETtrace cyclotron for the in-house production of PET radioisotopes 18F and 11C.   Radiochemistry facilities will be available for the production of 18F and 11C radiopharmaceuticals.  The BAHL cyclotron and radiochemistry facility is scheduled to open in winter 2020-2021.