"The accuracy of dose planning and delivery in hadron beam treatment is imperative, since millimeter errors can lead to over-dosage of critical organs or under-dosage of the tumor. Treatment plans can be reliable only if controlled with the use of in-beam positron emission tomography (ib-PET). Early experiments showed that the radiation produced by activated tissues represents a much richer and ephemeral scenario than in conventional PET imaging. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of the produced radiation can be acquired because of the high noise during particle extraction. It has been shown that modularized detectors can better sustain beam brightness, but new strategies are required in order to discriminate and recovery the useful signal. This project addresses the problem of in-spill blindness with a new concept photon discrimination technique based on fully digital acquisition. The idea is to upgrade the key sub-systems of the ib-PET system recently developed jointly by the Technical University of Madrid and the University of Pisa, being the two organizations respectively the origin and the destination of the candidate. A modified version of detector read-out modules will provide real-time photon digital characterization, while coincidence processing will be completely re-invented. The proposed photon characterization and tomographic reconstruction techniques will be mainly based on a series of results that have been co-published and co-patented in the last few years by the author of the project. This project is expected to intensify the researcher’s professional maturity as a medical imaging system engineer, giving him the opportunity to complete a competitive work started with his PhD studies. The close collaboration with the host group and their industrial partners will also give him the opportunity of training with next generation detector technologies and PET applications, thus preparing the ground for new advances in the state of the art."
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