UC Davis gets $15.5M grant for total-body PET scanner

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

October 7, 2015 -- Researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) have received a five-year, $15.5 million grant to develop what they are calling the world's first total-body PET scanner.

The grant is administered by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and will fund the Explorer project, led by Simon Cherry, PhD, distinguished professor of biomedical engineering at the university, and Ramsey Badawi, PhD, a professor of radiology.

The total-body PET scanner would image an entire body all at once, and it would acquire images much faster or at a much lower radiation dose by capturing almost all of the available signal from radiopharmaceuticals. A video of a prototype of the Explorer system shows that rather than using a single ring of PET detectors, as found with conventional PET systems, the design would line the entire inside of the PET camera bore with multiple rings of PET detectors.

Proposed PET detector rings
Image from video clip shows PET detectors proposed for Explorer system. Video courtesy of UC Davis.

Cherry and Badawi predict that such a total-body PET design could reduce radiation dose by a factor of 40 or decrease scanning time from 20 minutes to 30 seconds. A quicker scan could also reduce the incidence of images blurred by patient movement.

UC Davis will lead the initiative, which includes researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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Last Updated np 10/6/2015 4:59:06 PM