Time-of-flight positron emission tomography (TOF-PET) is the standard-of-care in cancer detection. TOF-PET scanners’ performance is dependent on the radiation detectors they use. Improving time and spatial detection features in such detectors will dramatically impact the diagnostic capacity of TOF-PET systems.
The goal of this project is to build a gamma detector concept for TOF-PET able to improve the time resolution and spatial segmentation of state-of-the-art detectors by a factor of up to 7 and 10, respectively, without additional production costs. CHLOE-PET is a forward-looking gamma detector design for TOF-PET able to exploit the new photodetector technologies that are currently under development and will become available within the next 5-to-10 years.
The novelty of the proposed design lies in using Cherenkov light as a prompt time source, using an innovative geometry optimized to maximize light collection, and employing photodetectors with small pixel pitch. This project is the first attempt to build a detector module scalable to a full-size system that can be used in a hospital setting. The CHLOE-PET detector will consist of bismuth germanate (BGO) crystals with 12 mm thickness and will combine the readout of scintillation and Cherenkov light. CHLOE-PET will provide an effective 3D segmentation of 2x2x2 mm3, an intrinsic photon time spread of 20 ps, and no intrinsic radiation background (unlike state-of-the-art TOF-PET detectors).
Such improvements will allow increasing the signal-to-noise ratio of images by >2-fold, to be able to detect lesions of 2 mm size (>3 times the current performance), to build portable high-performance organ-dedicated TOF-PET systems, and to universalize the use of dynamic TOF-PET studies. The combination of these outcomes will provide significantly better diagnostic capabilities in a range of fields such as oncology, neurology, or cardiology, among others, and ultimately boost treatment efficacy and patient comfort.
Fields of science
- engineering and technologyelectrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineeringelectronic engineeringsensorsoptical sensors
- natural scienceschemical sciencesinorganic chemistrypost-transition metals
- medical and health sciencesclinical medicineoncology
- natural sciencesmathematicspure mathematicsgeometry
- natural sciencesphysical sciencestheoretical physicsparticle physicsphotons
- HORIZON.1.1 - European Research Council (ERC) Main Programme