Advances in Gamma-Ray Imaging with Intensified Quantum-Imaging Detectors
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractNuclear medicine, an important branch of modern medical imaging, is an essential tool for both diagnosis and treatment of disease. As the fundamental element of nuclear medicine imaging, the gamma camera is able to detect gamma-ray photons emitted by radiotracers injected into a patient and form an image of the radiotracer distribution, reflecting biological functions of organs or tissues. Recently, an intensified CCD/CMOS-based quantum detector, called iQID, was developed in the Center for Gamma-Ray Imaging. Originally designed as a novel type of gamma camera, iQID demonstrated ultra-high spatial resolution (<100 micron) and many other advantages over traditional gamma cameras. This work focuses on advancing this conceptually-proven gamma-ray imaging technology to make it ready for both preclinical and clinical applications. To start with, a Monte Carlo simulation of the key light-intensification device, i.e. the image intensifier, was developed, which revealed the dominating factor(s) that limit energy resolution performance of the iQID cameras. For preclinical imaging applications, a previously-developed iQID-based single-photon-emission computed-tomography (SPECT) system, called FastSPECT III, was fully advanced in terms of data acquisition software, system sensitivity and effective FOV by developing and adopting a new photon-counting algorithm, thicker columnar scintillation detectors, and system calibration method. Originally designed for mouse brain imaging, the system is now able to provide full-body mouse imaging with sub-350-micron spatial resolution. To further advance the iQID technology to include clinical imaging applications, a novel large-area iQID gamma camera, called LA-iQID, was developed from concept to prototype. Sub-mm system resolution in an effective FOV of 188 mm × 188 mm has been achieved. The camera architecture, system components, design and integration, data acquisition, camera calibration, and performance evaluation are presented in this work. Mounted on a castered counter-weighted clinical cart, the camera also features portable and mobile capabilities for easy handling and on-site applications at remote locations where hospital facilities are not available.
Degree ProgramGraduate College