The objective of the proposed development is to create a basic imager module that will serve as the building block of small and large gamma cameras. The Anger camera, the work horse of nuclear medicine since its development in the 195Os, has shortcomings, including, its massiveness, the continual need for re-calibration, limited spatial resolution, & significant dead space around the perimeter of the imaging head. Initially, a compact gamma camera for hard-to-perform nuclear-medicine procedures, such as scintimammography, will be built. Ultimately, the imager module should be the means for reducing the weight and volume of conventional gamma cameras by 90% while improving contrast and intrinsic spacial resolution and eliminating stability problems. Reduced size and weight and improved intrinsic spatial resolution should lead important new applications in nuclear medicine and related fields. The approach, which applies new materials to well-established principles of operation, is novel, though the materials and principles, independently, have been proven and well documented in the literature. Once revealed, the approach seems obvious, but it has not yet been described in the literature and is, therefore, considered proprietary until feasibility is demonstrated and patents applications are submitted.
A compact, high-performance gamma camera will enhance diagnostic capability for applications where it is difficult to reach an organ with a conventional gamma camera, such as, scintimammography or imaging prostrate, uterus, cervix, ovaries, testes, thyroid, or other organs. It may also be valuable for small animal imaging and industrial applications and may lead to higher performance cameras for all of nuclear medicine.