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ProxiScan™ uses Cadmium-Zinc-Telluride (CZT) detectors to measure and image the emitted gamma rays. CZT is a solid-state, room-temperature semiconductor detector, which provides higher energy resolution, spatial resolution and contrast compared to scintillators.  These advantages allow for high performance and small size for the gamma camera.

After a tracer is injected into the body, its bio-distribution depends on the specificity of the tracer.  Gamma rays emitted from the tracer can only go through a few pin holes in the collimator.  These pin holes are located directly beneath the hot spot.  The gamma rays interact with the CZT pixels and generate signals on those pixels closest to the hot spot.  The signals from each pixel are read out by the front-end electronics attached to the circuit board.  Signals in certain energy ranges (set by adjustable thresholds) are counted for each pixel.  After a certain amount of time (e.g., 2 - 5 minutes) of collecting data, the counts from all the pixels within the array give an image of the hot spots (i.e., the abnormal tissue). There are 3 separate parts to the system: probe, power supply, and computer.
(1) Probe: The functional part of the probe contains the CZT detector modules, which are located located at the end of the probe opposite the handle.  A collimator (made from tungsten) is attached to the CZT detectors.  A control circuit on the detector module reads out signals from each pixel of the CZT detector and communicates with the computer.
The photo shows a disassembled detector module and copper holder with the CZT detectors at the right-hand side of the PCB board and holder.

(2) Computer and software: On-line data acquisition software was written in LabVIEW.  Most of the controls and parameters on the graphical user interface (GUI) are for system tuning and calibration.  To acquire images users need to simply click a few buttons to start the data acquisition.  Another graphics program generates an off-line image view.  The programs operate on any computer that runs on Windows XP or Windows Vista.

The photo shows a screen shot of the on-line data acquisition system.

Click The Image To the Left To Hear A Recent Radio Interview With Dr. Ralph James Discussing The Technology Behind ProxiScan™




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