Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Having a better look into the body

Positron emission tomography is a leading medical imaging tool that provides high quality images. The use of special software tools enhances the image quality and consequently improves the diagnostic and research results.
Having a better look into the body
Positron emission tomography (PET) is one of the leading methods providing structural and functional anatomical images. This means we can observe the function of organs like the brain, the heart and the liver etc, non-invasively and without interrupting their function.

PET is based on the principle that every cell in the human body is a fuel-consuming entity. This consumption is different for every cell and depends on the cell’s origin and activity. Using radio-pharmaceuticals that emit positrons, the route of these fuels is traced. Cylindrical sets of detectors, that are placed around the body detect and count the positrons emitted from the various tissues. Finally, software algorithms analyse the data from the detectors and construct functional images of the body.

However, the process described above is degraded by a number of factors such as the motion of the organs and the nature of the positron. A team from the Division of Nuclear Medicine of Geneva’s University Hospital is focusing its research on developing techniques that overcome physical obstacles and improve image quality. Namely they have developed a powerful and robust segmentation software tool for attenuation correction that implements Fuzzy-C Means clustering algorithms. This tool, in combination with information that improves the homogeneity, reduces the noise of the signal significantly and enhances the image quality.

PET is of great importance for scientific and research purposes. Since it can accurately diagnose cancers, detect Alzheimer's as well as heart or neurological conditions, among other things, many research and business interests are attracted by this leading technology. The competition is high and it seems that collaborations among various partners will lead to excellent and exploitable results.

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Record Number: 80695 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Biology, Medicine