The need for detecting smaller lesions, earlier stage cancer, and test new radiopharmaceuticals ask for new PET imaging devices, especially in terms of improved spatial resolution and sensitivity. AX-PET is a novel PET concept, with an unprecedented design and unique features. Several layers of axially-oriented crystals are read out by WLS strips located underneath each crystal plane, providing a 3D parallax-free reconstruction of the gamma interaction point in the crystal matrix. The layered structure and the high spatial and energy resolution of AX-PET allows a high identification and reconstruction of inter crystal scattering events, resulting in a higher achievable sensitivity. However, the potential homogeneous spatial resolution and the higher sensitivity need to be supported by dedicated and advanced software. The aim of the presented project is the development of a complete system model, and of dedicated algorithms for image reconstruction and inter-crystal scatter identification, to support and to boost the development of the AX-PET demonstrator as well as to fully exploit its characteristics. Many innovative approaches are required and foreseen, all based on a strong multidisciplinary platform: High Energy Physics, Instrumentation, Applied Physics, and Computer Sciences. The outcomes of the project, in spite of being conceived for AX-PET, will be able to be applied to other high resolution systems. Therefore, the project will have a direct impact on the accuracy of medical diagnosis and in biomedical research.
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