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Ultra-high sensitivity, high spatial resolution single photon emission tomography using mechanical flux manipulation.

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41EB032275-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41EB032275
Amount: $265,180.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIBIB
Solicitation Number: PA20-272
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-09-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-09-14
Small Business Information
14055 1ST AVE NW
Seattle, WA 98177-3902
United States
DUNS: 116904636
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (541) 231-0989
Business Contact
Phone: (541) 231-0989
Research Institution
SEATTLE, WA 98195-1016
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

The goal of this project is to develop both hardware and software to demonstrate the ground breaking capabilities
of a new single photon radionuclide (SPR) imaging technique with the potential for andgt;1000 times gain in sensitivity
and andgt;100 times gain in volumetric spatial resolution compared to clinical SPECT imaging using parallel-hole
collimators. We refer to our new imaging methodology as mechanical flux manipulation (MFM). MFM utilizes
high resolution pixelated detectors, high bandwidth data acquisition electronics and a novel image reconstruction
methodology utilizing detector flux information to achieve target performance goals of andgt;50% detection efficiency
for photons impinging an MFM detector and andlt;2 mm reconstructed image resolution. MFM is a SPR tomographic
imaging technique. The two main features that differentiate MFM from traditional SPECT are collimator-less
detectors and the use of flux-probability distributions versus line of response (LOR) counts to reconstruct images.
MFM rejects the notion that the direction of every detected photon must be known in order to accurately
reconstruct images from a single photon radionuclide emitting object. Instead, MFM collects flux information on
a crystal by crystal basis and records how the flux to each crystal is altered by moving a mechanical attenuator
(MA) between the emission object and the detector. Using flux information, the incident direction of each detected
photon is not required for image reconstruction. MFM is further differentiated from SPECT in that it uses fully 3D
image reconstruction rather than stacks of 2D data. While MFM will support general single photon tomographic
imaging protocols, the focus of this Phase I proposal is to demonstrate feasibility for human brain imaging.
This project is consists of three specific aims. The first aim is to extend and validate the SimSET Monte Carlo
simulation tool to simulate an MFM scanner including real-world effects. The main component of this extension
is to be able to simulate continuous MA motion. An additional sub-aim is to fabricate a prototype MA assembly
and fully functional pixelated detector panel to collect experimental data with which to validate the SimSET Monte
Carlo software tools. The second aim of the project is to expand the MFM image reconstruction software to 3D
and to incorporate all corrections to support quantitative imaging. Extending to fully 3D image reconstruction will
require significantly more computing resources and optimization of the algorithms so that the code can run
efficiently. One of the sub-aims is to implement the reconstruction software using GPU processors. The third aim
is to use the validated Monte Carlo tools from specific aim 1 and the fully 3D image reconstruction code
developed in aim 2 to optimize the design of a MFM imaging system for high resolution human brain imaging.
After successful completion of this project, we will seek additional funding to build a prototype MFM system to
support andlt;2mm image resolution human brain imaging system using clinically feasible protocols.Narrative
The overall goal of this project is to demonstrate feasibility of a new single photon radionuclide imaging
technology with andgt;1000 times the sensitivity and andgt;100 time the volumetric image resolution of current clinical
SPECT systems. We refer to this new imaging technology as ‘mechanical flux manipulation’ or MFM.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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