PhD ceremony: Mr. R. Vinke, 13.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Title: Time-of-flight pet with SiPM sensors on monolithic scintillation crystals
Promotor(s): prof. H. Löhner
Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a major medical diagnostic imaging modality that is predominantly used in determining the presence and severity of cancers, neurological disorders and cardio-vascular diseases. Significant advances in PET detector performance have recently been possible due to the introduction of fast and brightscintillators for radiation detection (LYSO and LaBr3:Ce), the development of compact, fast and high-gain solid-state photosensors for detecting the scintillation light (silicon photomultipliers, SiPMs) and the ever-increasing computing power at affordable cost, allowing advanced signal processing in reasonable time. In this work, a novel PET detector concept has been investigated which is based on large continuous (monolithic) scintillation crystals, fast photosensors and advanced positioning algorithms to determine the position of scintillation light emission in the crystal. It was shown that this detector concept outperforms the current detector technology in commercial PET scanners with respect to several performance parameters. Its excellent timing resolution improves the contrast of the PET images (the so-called Time-of-Flight PET technique). Furthermore, the positioning algorithms prevent PET image quality deterioration towards the edges of the body being investigated (depth-of-interaction reconstruction). This detector concept promises to significantly advance the ability of Positron Emission Tomography to visualize, quantify and characterize disease, enabling earlier cancer diagnosis, which is essential for a more effective cancer therapy.
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