First Images from EXPLORER Total-Body Positron Emission Tomography Scanner

By | November 26, 2018

An amazing new PET/CT scanner has produced its first images of human subjects, giving scientists and clinicians new opportunities to treat cancer and other diseases. The EXPLORER is a high sensitivity total-body positron emission tomography scanner developed by a collaboration of many different scientists. It is capable of imaging the entire human body in less than a second and with excellent fidelity.

It was originally conceived by Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi, two scientists at UC Davis, but years of engineering and scientific work was required to turn it into reality. The first model was eventually built by United Imaging Healthcare out of Shanghai, China, and the company is working toward commercializing it and bringing it to clinics and research laboratories. The scanner’s first work has been conducted at the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai.

Because of the scanner’s high efficiency, it is able to produce images in as little as a second using a standard radiation dose, much faster than with conventional devices. Moreover, to help reduce radiation exposure, the dose can be reduced at the expense of just a few extra seconds of the scanner’s time. And if optimal image quality is key, a longer scan at a standard dose will provide impressive results.

The developers of the device believe that new whole-body studies, which can assess how different tissues and organs react to different stimuli, will be able to be performed. The spread of inflammation, the impact of different disorders, and the mobility of cancer tumors should also be subject to easier assessment using the new scanning technology.

The researchers will be presenting the first scans of people using the system at the upcoming RSNA conference in Chicago.

Here’s a scan of a whole body taken using the EXPLORER:

[embedded content]

Video of an injected radiotracer moving through the body:

[embedded content]

Project page: EXPLORER…

Via: UC Davis…