Nevin Manimala Statistics

Pushing the limit of BGO-based dual-ended Cherenkov PET detectors through photon transit time correction

Phys Med Biol. 2023 Dec 13. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/ad1549. Online ahead of print.


The high production cost of commonly used lutetium-based fast scintillators and the development of silicon photomultipliers technology have made bismuth germanate (BGO) a promising candidate for time-of-flight positron emission tomography (TOF PET) detectors owing to its generation of prompt Cherenkov photons. However, using BGO as a hybrid scintillator is disadvantageous owing to its low photon statistics and distribution that does not conform well to a single Gaussian. To mitigate this, a proposal was made to increase the likelihood of detecting the first Cherenkov photons by positioning two photosensors in opposition at the entrance and exit faces of the scintillator and subsequently selectively picking an earlier timestamp. Nonetheless, the timing variation arising from the photon transit time remains affected by the entire length of the crystal, thereby presenting a possibility for further enhancement.
Approach: In this study, we aimed to improve the timing performance of the dual-ended BGO Cherenkov TOF PET detector by capitalizing on the synergistic advantages of applying depth-of-interaction (DOI) information and crystal surface finishes or reflector properties. A dual-ended BGO detector was implemented using a 3 × 3 × 15 mm3 BGO crystal. Coincidence events were acquired against a 3 × 3 × 3 mm3 LYSO:Ce:Mg reference detector. The timing performance of the dual-ended BGO detectors was analyzed using conventionally proposed timestamp methods before and after DOI correction.
Through a DOI-based correction of photon transit time spread, we demonstrated a further improvement in the timing resolution of the BGO-based Cherenkov TOF PET detector utilizing a dual-ended detector configuration and adaptive arrival time pickoff. We achieved further improvements in timing resolution by correcting the offset spread induced by the fluctuation of timing signal rise time in the dual-ended detector.
Significance: Although polishing the crystal surface was still favorable in terms of full-width-half-maximum (FWHM) value, incorporating DOI information from the unpolished crystal to compensate for photon travel time facilitated additional enhancement in the overall timing performance, thereby surpassing that achieved with the polished crystal.&#xD.

PMID:38091614 | DOI:10.1088/1361-6560/ad1549

By Nevin Manimala

Portfolio Website for Nevin Manimala