A Small Animal Imager (SAI) for PET has been designed, built, tested in phantoms, and applied to investigations in mice and rats. The device uses principles based on γ-ray induced scintillation in crossed fiber optic detectors connected to Position Sensitive Photomultiplier Tubes (PSPMT). Each detector consists of an epoxied stack of 28 layers of 135 round 1 mm BCF-10 scintillating plastic fibers. The overlap region forms a 13.5 × 13.5 × 2.8 cm 3 detector volume. Scintillating light from the fibers is detected by two (X and Y directions) Hamamatsu R-2486 PSPMTs with 16 anode wires in each of two orthogonal directions. A centroid-finding algorithm gives the position of a light cluster on the face (photocathode) of a PSPMT. The accuracy of the reconstruction of an interaction position is essentially independent of light cluster position. This translates to a nearly Isotropic photon response for the entire detector. The system has been used to test several 3D image reconstruction algorithms, software modifications, and improvements. The sensitivity (∼12.6 cps/kBq at 9 cm inner diameter) and sub-millimeter spatial resolution (better than 1 mm in phantoms) obtained with an iterative algorithm incorporating system modeling make the SAI a relatively inexpensive high performance animal imager. The SAI is currently being used for imaging experiments in mice and rats.
- Image reconstruction
- Positron emission tomography
- Small animal imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering