Novel PET imaging

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

The work has the potential to produce significant improvements in the quality of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. In PET imaging a patient is injected with sugar containing a radioactive atom, usually a flourine atom. When this atom decays 2 photons are emitted which come out in opposite directions back-to-back. By detecting many of these 2 photon events an image of the source can be reconstucted. PET imaging is used for many important clinical diagnoses such as identifying cancerous tissue and diagnosing alzheimers.This would allow smaller clinical features to be seen, permit earlier and more reliable diagnosis of disease and disease progression.

We have developed a new technique which will improve the sharpness and contrast of the PET image. There will be significant costs benefits to this approach. Better imaging will lead to more appropriate treatment, resulting in fewer futile surgical interventions and improved therapy choices of the increasingly expensive chemotherapies applied by oncologists.
Apart from Oncology applications, there is an increasing use of PET imaging in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease

We will work closely with Clinicians and PET physicists in our new Clinical Research Imaging Centre (CRIC) situated at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Our new technique is a spin off from STFC funded research for fundamental nuclear physics.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We carried out research and development for a new idea to improve PET medical imaging. We have engaged with clinicians and medical imaging companies to develop the idea. We provided new computer simulations based on current PET machine geometries and readout. We also produced bench test data using a small PET demonstrator module to validate our new imaging concept and further develop its implementation.

The concept formed the basis for subsequent succesful InnovateUK grant application with industrial partner (Kromek) to commercialise
Exploitation Route The work will be submitted for a patent. The idea may be incorporated into future PET imaging systems. We are applying for further funding for this stage and will collaborate with a PET machine manufacturer.

Patent successfully awarded. Further funding awarded from Innovate UK to work with Kromek LtD to commercialise the idea
Sectors Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description The results obtained formed the basis for a patent application. The patent has now been filed TEC1102685 PCT from GB1422144.4 The idea has been taken up by a company (Kromek Ltd) to commercialise using InnovateUK funding. This award started January 2017 and will run for two years
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Education,Healthcare
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Innovate UK
Amount £832,655 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P034276/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 03/2019
 
Description Proof of principle fund.
Amount £20,410 (GBP)
Funding ID MKT14/1523/TEC1102685 
Organisation University of Edinburgh 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2014 
End 02/2015
 
Description Collaboration with Kromek Ltd 
Organisation Kromek Group plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We setup a collaboration with industrial partners based on the outcomes of this grant. This led to a successful application to InnovateUK to commercialise the outcomes of the research funded in this work.
Collaborator Contribution They provide state of the art CZT photon detection systems and staff
Impact Succesful Innovate UK grant application under the quantum technologies call. Multidisciplinary including nuclear physics, detector physics, medical physics and imaging.
Start Year 2016
 
Description PET imaging 
Organisation Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution We proposed a new method to improve the quality of PET imaging. Our group carried out simulations and experimental studies to establish the new concept.
Collaborator Contribution Information on operation and data analysis from PET machines. Access to PET data sets. Input on clinical issues. Recent collaboration with Electrical Engineering department to test the concept on the latest SPADnet sensors. Similar light sensor designs to be rolled out on future PET machines.
Impact Patent application being filed. Publication in preparation, to be submitted once the patent has been filed. The research is Multi-disciplinary incorporating Physicists, engineers and clinicians.
Start Year 2011
 
Description PET imaging 
Organisation Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution We proposed a new method to improve the quality of PET imaging. Our group carried out simulations and experimental studies to establish the new concept.
Collaborator Contribution Information on operation and data analysis from PET machines. Access to PET data sets. Input on clinical issues. Recent collaboration with Electrical Engineering department to test the concept on the latest SPADnet sensors. Similar light sensor designs to be rolled out on future PET machines.
Impact Patent application being filed. Publication in preparation, to be submitted once the patent has been filed. The research is Multi-disciplinary incorporating Physicists, engineers and clinicians.
Start Year 2011
 
Description PET imaging 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department Electrical Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We proposed a new method to improve the quality of PET imaging. Our group carried out simulations and experimental studies to establish the new concept.
Collaborator Contribution Information on operation and data analysis from PET machines. Access to PET data sets. Input on clinical issues. Recent collaboration with Electrical Engineering department to test the concept on the latest SPADnet sensors. Similar light sensor designs to be rolled out on future PET machines.
Impact Patent application being filed. Publication in preparation, to be submitted once the patent has been filed. The research is Multi-disciplinary incorporating Physicists, engineers and clinicians.
Start Year 2011
 
Title Improvements in Image Processing for PET Scanning Data - Quantum entangled tomography 
Description Developed a new imaging method for medical positron emission tomography (PET) scans 
IP Reference WO2016092314 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2016
Licensed No
Impact Currently being developed for commercialisation with InnovateUK grant. The original IP was developed during the period of this award. Kromek agreed to fund the patent costs. We are in the process of potentially garnering additional new IP relating to the work carried out in this award.
 
Title Quantum entanglement in GEANT4 particle simulation package 
Description We developed in collaboration with University of Manchester the first implementation of quantum entanglement into the GEANT4 software. This is currently in use in our InnovateUK programme, but as it is developed as part of the GEANT4 package it will eventually be open source and available to all GEANT4 users. The package was improved and finalised in late 2017 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The software allows the effects and benefits of quantum entanglement to be explored in PET imaging. Th initial studies were done using an earlier STFC follow on fund award. This has now been developed to a better standard using the innovateUK support.