Nuclear Medicine

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This program supports the research and development of technologies and techniques that create multi-dimensional/spectral molecular images using gamma-ray (SPECT) or positron (PET) emissions from radioactively labeled biological agents that are injected, inhaled, or ingested into the body.

Emphasis

The emphasis is on: simulation and development of new detector materials and methods of detection for nuclear imaging; collimators and other selective signal modulators, and readout methods that enhance the signal quality of detecting isotope emissions; designs of novel camera geometries for dedicated, general or multi-purpose imaging; and correction methods that compensate for the radiation physics properties to improve the clinical reliability of the image (reconstructions algorithms). Of interest are improvements in collimation and camera designs for SPECT, improvements and corrections for interaction events in PET detectors, enhancement to time of flight (TOF) PET image generation methods, reproducible and standardized quantification as well as new detector materials.

Relevance

The emphasized topics are meant to lead toward: improved clinical SPECT and PET cameras or next-generation camera systems; novel simulations, reconstruction algorithms, or artifact corrections for enhancing diagnostic images; and multi-modal camera designs. Investigating the associated dosimetry estimations leads to decreased risk in diagnostic imaging studies in patients.

Examples of emphasis

  • evaluation of new semiconductor, scintillation and other novel radiation detectors
  • replacing photomultiplier tubes with novel photoconversion techniques 
  • readout electronics for measuring radiation interactions
  • techniques for improved camera spatial resolution and sensitivity
  • new approaches for improving coincidence measurements for TOF-PET
  • application of secondary emissions (e.g. bremsstrahlung, Cherenkov) for imaging
  • novel camera designs applicable to dedicated imaging of specific organs
  • combining modalities for clinically relevant hybrid systems (e.g. coupling SPECT and PET to x-ray/ultrasound CT and/or to MRI or other modalities)
  • software algorithms and imaging protocols to estimate patient dosimetry
  • design of improved spatial and temporal resolution SPECT systems
  • methods of measuring and correcting for patient motion
  • new diagnostics applied to image-guided therapy and theranostics

Notes

  • clinical application of image-guided therapy and theranostics is supported by the Image-Guided Interventions program
  • development of novel imaging molecular agents is supported by the Molecular Imaging program
  • novel evaluation of images

Notice of Special Interest in Radiation Monitoring for Trauma Care

 

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