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Detector and instrumentation based on digital signal processing for pre-clinical Positron Emission Tomography

Grant number: 17/13665-1
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: August 01, 2018 - July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Nuclear Engineering
Principal Investigator:Luana Soares Jorge
Grantee:Luana Soares Jorge
Company:Soluções e Instrumentações Avançadas Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: São Paulo
Assoc. researchers: Daniel Alexandre Baptista Bonifácio
Associated research grant:16/00933-5 - Multichannel system of data acquisition with digital processing of pulse for radionuclide detection, AP.PIPE
Associated scholarship(s):18/14954-0 - Development of digital pulse processing algorithms (PDP), BP.TT
18/14927-2 - Detector and instrumentation based on digital signal processing for pre-clinical positron emission tomography, BP.PIPE

Abstract

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a non-invasive technique that generates concentration in vivo images of biologically active molecules, providing physiological and metabolic information. Pre-clinical PET systems can be used in scientific research, such as study of cancer and drug development, including new genetic and molecular therapies. PET technology has been combined with computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), expanding the number of applications and optimizing image quality. Hence, challenges have arisen, such as the need to insert the PET detector into the magnetic field generated by the MRI magnet, which implies the use of compact and electromagnetically compatible components, such as silicon photomultipliers (SiPM). There are also researches to develop PET systems using data acquisition (DAQ) instrumentation based on digital pulse processing (PDP) onto FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) platform. Comparing to analog systems, a PET system with PDP provides higher reliability, wider dynamic range, reduced noise and superior or equivalent response time, combining low power consumption and high density components. It is also possible to reconfigure each acquisition channel without the need for any hardware changes, reducing costs and time for making a prototype. The aim of this proposal is to design and develop detectors and instrumentation for PET technology based on PDP, which will be evaluated using a PET prototype that will be built as proof of concept. MRI compatibility will be achieved using SiPMs and, to reduce costs and system size, each PET detector module will consist of a monolithic scintillator crystal coupled to a SiPM matrix using row-column summing readout that will be developed in the second phase of PIPE program, reducing the number of system channels and, consequently, the cost of components for signal processing. The signals from each SiPMs matrix will be collected and processed by a DAQ module based on PDP. The DAQ module, developed in phase 1 of PIPE program, will be adapted and improved for use in PET systems. Finally, data from each module will be sent to a host for image reconstruction. The system will be evaluated at the Laboratory of Applied Nuclear Physics (LFNA) of the Nuclear and Energy Research Institute (IPEN). The PET system performance will be optimized by sophisticated PDP algorithms and image reconstruction. Due to the use of modular DAQ and monolithic scintillation crystals, the PET system will be compact and cost-effective compared to equipment in the market. It is expected as main system characteristics: a coincidence time resolution below 0.8 ns, spatial resolution below 1 mm and detection sensitivity greater than 4%. (AU)