We have constructed and characterized a time-of-flight Positron Emission Tomography (TOF PET) camera called the Tachyon. The Tachyon is a single-ring Lutetium Oxyorthosilicate (LSO) based camera designed to obtain significantly better timing resolution than the ~ 550 ps found in present commercial TOF cameras, in order to quantify the benefit of improved TOF resolution for clinically relevant tasks. The Tachyon's detector module is optimized for timing by coupling the 6.15 × 25 mm2 side of 6.15 × 6.15 × 25mm3 LSO scintillator crystals onto a 1-inch diameter Hamamatsu R-9800 PMT with a super-bialkali photocathode. We characterized the camera according to the NEMA NU 2-2012 standard, measuring the energy resolution, timing resolution, spatial resolution, noise equivalent count rates and sensitivity. The Tachyon achieved a coincidence timing resolution of 314 ps + / - 20 ps FWHM over all crystal-crystal combinations. Experiments were performed with the NEMA body phantom to assess the imaging performance improvement over non-TOF PET. The results show that at a matched contrast, incorporating 314 ps TOF reduces the standard deviation of the contrast by a factor of about 2.3.
- Signal-to-noise ratio
- timing resolution
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics