A new medical imaging device can complete whole-body 3D scanning in only 20 seconds. It may soon be widely used in research and clinical fields. The traditional positron emission tomography (PET) generally takes 20 minutes to image, and this improved PET scanner is faster and lower radiation dose than the traditional scanner. At the “high risk and high return research seminar” recently held by the National Institutes of health, researchers showed the latest video generated by this device.

Medical imaging device for completing whole-body 3D scanning in 20 seconds

An improved medical device can complete a whole-body scan in just a few seconds. The picture shows the scanned image generated by the device.

Source: University of California, Davis, Zhongshan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, Lianying medical

Sanjay Jain, a pediatrician and infectious disease doctor at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, said that the new equipment is particularly suitable for imaging children, because children usually move around in the scanner, affecting the measurement data; In addition, the device can also be used to study the drug delivery process in vivo.

Standard PET scanners generally require doctors to inject radioactive tracers into the examined person before using the scanner γ Radiographic testing. Cells in the human body take up and break down these radioactive molecules, releasing two γ Ray. The circular detector around the human body reconstructs the radiation source by measuring the angle and speed of radiation release, and constructs a 3D map for the cells of metabolic molecules.

The ring of the scanner is only 25 cm thick, so doctors can only image a small part of the body at a time. The decay rate of tracer molecules is very fast, which means that the signal disappears very fast. Therefore, if we want to expand the imaging area, we need to inject more radioactive molecules into the scanning object and move the scanning part back and forth in the ring.

Ramsey Badawi, a biomedical engineer at the University of California, Davis, and colleagues achieved one-time whole-body imaging by connecting the rings of eight PET scanners to a 2-meter-long pipe. The new scanner only needs 1 / 40 of the time and 1 / 40 of the radiation dose of the traditional scanner to generate images, which really reduces the radiation risk. Researchers can also let the scanned object stay in the scanner longer and take motion capture images to observe how the radioactive tracer diffuses in the body.

Last December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the improved scanner in the United States. Badawi plans to make its first practical application in California next month.

“The whole-body scanner is another leap in the field of medical imaging,” said Abass Alavi, a radiology expert at the University of Pennsylvania, who is currently working with Badawi to study atherosclerosis using an improved PET scanner.

Alavi said doctors may be able to use the 2-meter-long device to determine whether specific drugs can help treat the artery clogging disease in the future. Badawi said that traditional PET scanners are generally not used because of cost and radiation problems.

Jain hopes the improved device can be used to test a radioactive sugar tracer he has developed that can only be ingested by bacterial cells but not mammalian cells. Injecting this tracer into patients with suspected bacterial infection can find the most concentrated location of bacteria. In addition, Jain’s laboratory is also developing indicators that can distinguish different types of bacteria. As a researcher of drug delivery in the human body, he said that this improved PET scanner “is a dream come true for people like me”.

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