Devices for nuclear medicine diagnostics

Russia’s domestic medicine is suffering from a crippling deficit of modern equipment for diagnostics. Currently there are about 150 active gamma chambers and tomography scanners of different types in Russia. Almost all of this equipment was imported. Most of them are operated for more than 10 years and are now needed to be either modernized or completely replaced. There is no serial production of such domestic equipment. Warranty and post-warranty services and repair services of imported equipment is a serious problem in Russia. Lack of funds for the repair and maintenance of equipment (especially outside the central region of Russia) results in under-performance, and, in the worst-case, irreparable damage.

The proposed Project will include experimental studies used to develop equipment and technology for modern PET and SPECT scanners for clinical diagnostics and neutron capture therapy; that work will be based on experience with existing devices and also implementation of potentially new ideas.

It has to be noted that many current nuclear medical devices are expected to be upgraded, replacing standard vacuum photomultipliers by solid semiconductor photodetectors. Detecting systems using matrix structure position-sensitive semiconductor technology allow us to achieve better technical characteristics of PET and gamma tomography scanners, than can be achieved with a single crystal or a set of standard photomultipliers. The primary advantage comes from the fact that the position of the event can be better defined using the matrix pixel system. One of the promising directions for future progress in such matrix-detection systems is replacement of the standard PM’s by new SiPM’s.