Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Physics Division

Physics Division Seminars

Physics Division Seminars bring us speakers on a variety of physics related subjects. Usually these are held in the Building 6008 large Conference Room, at 3:00 pm on the chosen day, but times and locations may vary. For more information, contact our seminar chairman,

Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri
Tel (Office): (865) 574-6124  (FAX): (865) 574-1268


Thu., March 13, 2008, at 3:00 p.m. (refreshments at 2:40 p.m.)

Teaching a SmartPET new tricks, medical imaging with semiconductor detectors

Andrew J. Boston, University of Liverpool, UK
Building 6008 Conference Room

The development of highly segmented germanium detectors for nuclear medical imaging applications is potentially the most exciting development in applied nuclear physics in recent years. The University of Liverpool Department of Physics has lead an international collaboration to develop a small animal Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner utilizing segmented germanium detectors. The prototype system has been used to image point sources and phantoms producing high quality images in both PET and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) mode. Imaging of multi-nuclide sources has demonstrated how the combination of excellent energy resolution and cone beam reconstruction techniques can be used to distinguish between gamma-ray energies and reconstruct individual locations. These results show how such semiconductor systems have the potential to find application not only in the field of medical imaging but also in homeland security and environmental assay. Such performance has allowed the system to be deployed as a multi-modality medical imaging system, which should enable many new and exciting clinical studies to become possible, particularly in the fields of cardiology, oncology, neurology and genetics. This presentation aims to provide an overview of the SmartPET system including the use of pulse shape analysis and digital electronics. Operation of the system in Compton camera mode will be discussed and some imaging results will be presented.