The main interest of the Detectors for Molecular Imaging Group (DMIG) is focused on the design and development of new devices that efficiently image radiation emissions in the form of annihilation of positrons (Positron Emission Tomography, PET) and single emitted gamma rays, both in Tomography (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography, SPECT) and 2D planar imaging (Gamma Camera). The group has lately focus on the development of gamma ray detector blocks based on SiPM photosensors and LYSO monolithic scintillation crystals. We are the first group making it possible to accurately measure 511 keV impacts in the whole monolithic scintillation volume. New photosensors, readout techniques, as well as crystal types are always under investigation.The goals of our research are to design devices beyond the current state-of-the–art instrumentation, in terms of sensitivity, spatial, energy, and temporal resolutions.

The group is working on different fields such as crystals types and treatments, readout electronics, data acquisition systems, simulations, detectors characterization, timing resolution experiments, to name but a few. In the following there is a summary of most relevant projects where most of these fields play a role.

Members

Antonio J. González, PhD, Group leader

Filomeno Sánchez, PhD, Senior

José M. Benlloch, PhD, Prof.

Victor Ilisie, PhD, PostDoc

John Barrio, PhD, PostDoc

Gabriel Cañizares, PhD student

Andrea González-Montoro, PhD student

Efthimis Lamprou, PhD student

Marta Freire, PhD student

Neus Cucarella, Physicist

Sergio Aguilar, Graduate student

Liczandro Hernández, Electronic R&D support

Francisco Martos, Technical support

Koldo Vidal, Mechanical R&D support

Adrian Mascarell, Mechanical R&D support

 

Former members:

Sebastian Sánchez, PhD student

Edwin Pincay, Mechanical R&D support

Albert Aguilar, PostDoc

 

Contact: agonzalez@i3m.upv.es

Projects

Ongoing projects

Molecular imaging system for heart diagnostic under stress condition. TEC2016-79884-C2-2-R

In this project we plan to design and build a completely novel cardiac PET system that allows simultaneous PET scanning and patient movement.  The system will allow us to visualize and measure function of the heart under stress conditions. The proposed system will deal with limited angle tomography, imposed by the specific geometry of the cardiac PET system we propose in this project, through outstanding TOF resolution.

image009-min

This project has beed co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Este proyecto ha sido co-financiado por la Unión Europea a través del Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER).

4D-PET: Innovative PET scanner for dynamic imaging

Prof. Benlloch has been granted with this ERC Advanced proposal. The main objective of 4D-PET is to develop an innovative whole-body PET scanner based in a new detector concept that stores 3D position and time of every single gamma interaction with unprecedented resolution. The combination of scanner geometrical design and high timing resolution will enable developing a full sequence of all gamma-ray interactions inside the scanner, including Compton interactions, like in a 3D movie. 4D-PET fully exploits Time Of Flight (TOF) information to obtain a better image quality and to increase scanner sensitivity, through the inclusion in the image formation of all Compton events occurring inside the detector, which are always rejected in state-of-the-art PET scanners.

MindView

i3M coordinates an EU project of the FP7 program, called MindView. This a large project of 4 years timeframe with a strong consortium of 10 partners. The main technology goal of this project is the development of a high resolution PET insert, MR compatible, capable of simultaneous image acquisition, for Mental Disorders studies. The project includes clinical sites such as the Karolinska, the TUM-MED and the Uppsala University, but also referenced companies in this field as SensL, Noras, Bencar or Oncovision. Research institutions also participate as i3M, the Sapienza University and the Brest University.

Small animal PET insert, Bruker

This group co-develops a small animal PET insert, together with Bruker Biospin, using monolithic LYSO crystals, fitting the 200 mm aperture gradients. The PET uses SiPM technology as photosensors and results on an homogeneous sub-millimeter spatial resolution on the whole system FOV. It has shown reaching image resolutions of 750 microns. It has been tested inside up to 7T Bruker MR systems with high performance.

pet2

CareMiBrain

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most relevant neurodegenerative disease. Worldwide, nearly 36 million people have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia which will double every 20 years to 115.4 million in 2050, and in Europe affects about 7.5 million people (75% of all dementia cases) and is expected to increase up to 10.5 million in 2030, with a reported prevalence rate of 6.2% for all those aged 60 years and over. A brain PET system is being implemented for Oncovision. It will be formed by 3 rings of 16 detectors blocks. Each block will include a scintillator LYSO, rectangular with as more as 15 mm thickness. An overall spatial resolution FWHM performance of about 1.8 mm is obtained without correcting for the source or collimator contributions (1.2 degrees collimation). An outstanding energy resolution for the whole LYSO volume of 13% is reported here. And for the first time, we are able to characterize the light distribution using a light projections readout, providing a DOI resolution (FWHM) of about 3.7 mm.

 

PROSPET (DTS15/00152)

The main objective of the project PROSPET is to develop a reliable system for the diagnosis of Prostate Cancer (CaP) based on Molecular Imaging (MI). This is a project carried out together with the Hospital La Fe in Valencia. The system to be developed, is based on Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to increase efficiency in the detection and resolution by a factor 10 compared to current PET scanners. The TOF (time of flight) resolution will be approximately 300 ps allowing a significant improvement in the image contrast.

This project has beed co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Este proyecto ha sido co-financiado por la Unión Europea a través del Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER).

Relevant Publications

Peer-reviewed publications:

Initial Results of the MINDView PET Insert Inside the 3T mMR
Antonio J. Gonzalez, Andrea Gonzalez-Montoro, Luis F. Vidal, Julio Barbera, Sebastian Aussenhofer, Liczandro Hernandez, Laura Moliner, Filomeno Sanchez, Carlos Correcher, Edwin J. Pincay, Gabriel Cañizares, Efthymios Lamprou, Sebastian Sanchez, Juan V. Catret, Santiago Jiménez-Serrano, Jorge Cabello, Markus Schwaiger, Amadeo Iborra, Thibaut Merlin, Dimitris Visvikis and Jose M. Benlloch
IEEE Trans. Rad. Plas. Med. Scie., early access, DOI: 10.1109/TRPMS.2018.2866899

Organ-Dedicated Molecular Imaging Systems
Antonio J. Gonzalez, Filomeno Sanchez, and Jose M. Benlloch
IEEE Trans. Rad. Plas. Med. Scie. 2, 388, 2018.

Building blocks of a multi-layer PET with time sequence photon interaction discrimination and double Compton camera
Victor Ilisie, Vicent Giménez-Alventosa, Laura Moliner, Filomeno Sánchez, Antonio J González, María José Rodríguez-Álvarez, José María Benlloch,
Nuclear Instruments and Methods A 895, 74-83, 2018.

The MINDVIEW Project: First Results
José M. Benlloch, Antonio J. González, Roberto Pani, Enrico Preziosi, Carl Jackson, John Murphy, Julio Barberá, Carlos Correcher, Sebastian Aussenhofer, Daniel Gareis, Dimitris Visvikis, Julien Bert, Bengt Langstrom, Lars Farde, Miklos Toth, Jenny Haggkvist, Fabio V. Caixeta, Klas Kullander, Ian Somlai-Schweiger, Markus Schwaiger
European Psychiatry 50, 21-27, 2018.

PET detector block with accurate 4D capabilities
Efthymios Lamprou, Albert Aguilar, Andrea González-Montoro, Jose M. Monzó, Gabriel Cañizares, Sofia Iranzo, Luis F. Vidal, Liczandro Hernández, Pablo Conde, Sebastian Sánchez, Filomeno Sánchez, Antonio J. González, José M. Benlloch
Nuclear Instruments and Methods A, in press, online available 13 Nov 2017

Highly improved operation of monolithic BGO-PET blocks
Andrea Gonzalez-Montoro, Filomeno Sanchez, Stan Majewski, Silvia Zanettini, Jose M. Benlloch and Antonio J. Gonzalez
Journal of Instrumentation, JINST 12 C11027, 2017

A scintillator geometry suitable for very small PET gantries
Antonio J. Gonzalez, Andrea Gonzalez-Montoro, Albert Aguilar, Gabriel Cañizares, Rosana Martí, Sofia Iranzo, Efthimis Lamprou, Sebastian Sanchez, Filomeno Sanchez, and Jose M. Benlloch
Journal of Instrumentation, JINST 12 C12018, 2017

Detector block performance based on a monolithic LYSO crystal using a novel signal multiplexing method
Andrea González-Montoro, Filomeno Sánchez, Rosana Martí, Liczandro Hernández, Albert Aguilar, Julio Barberá, Juan V. Catret, Gabriel Cañizares, Pablo Conde, Efthimios Lamprou, Francisco Martos, Sebatián Sánchez, Luis F. Vidal, Jose M. Benlloch and Antonio J. González
Nuclear Instruments and Methods A, accepted 23 Oct 2017, in production

PETIROC2 based readout electronics optimization for Gamma Cameras and PET detectors
J.M. Monzó, A. Aguilar, A. González-Montoro, E. Lamprou, A.J. González, L. Hernández, D. Mazur, R.J. Colom and J.M. Benlloch
Journal of Instrumentation, vol. 12, C02059, 2017

Performance study of a PET scanner based on monolithic scintillators for different DoI-dependent methods
E. Preziosi, S. Sánchez, A.J. González, R. Pani, C. Borrazzo, M. Bettiol, M.J. Rodriguez-Alvarez, A. González-Montoro, L. Moliner and J.M. Benlloch
Journal of Instrumentation, vol. 11, C12076, 2016

Performance Study of a Large Monolithic LYSO PET Detector With Accurate Photon DOI Using Retroreflector Layers,
A. González-Montoro, A. Aguilar, G. Cañizares, P. Conde, L. Hernández, L.F. Vidal, M. Galasso, A. Fabbri, F. Sánchez, J.M. Benlloch and A.J. González
Transaction on Radiation and Plasma Medical Physics, vol. 1, no. 3, pag. 229, 2017.

Pilot tests of a PET detector using the TOF-PET ASIC based on monolithic crystals and SiPMs,
A. Aguilar, A. González-Montoro, A.J. González, L. Hernández, J.M. Monzó, R. Bugalho, L. Ferramacho and J.M. Benlloch
Journal of Instrumentation, vol. 11, C12033, 2016

A Novel Method for γ-photons Depth-of-Interaction Detection in Monolithic Scintillation Crystals,
R. Pani, M. Bettiol, E. Preziosi, C. Borrazzo, R. Pellegrini, A.J. González, P. Conde, M.N. Cinti, A. Fabbri, E. Di Castro and S. Majewski
Transaction on Nuclear Science, vol. 63, no 5, pp. 2487-2495, 2016

The MINDView brain PET detector, feasibility study based on SiPM arrays,
A.J. González, S. Majewski, F. Sánchez, S. Aussenhofer, A. Aguilar, P. Conde, L. Hernández, L.F. Vidal, R. Pani, M. Bettiol, A. Fabbri, J. Bert, D. Visvikis, C. Jackson, J. Murphy, K. O’Neill and J.M. Benlloch
Nuclear Instruments and Methods A 818, 82-90, 2016.

A PET design based on SiPM and monolithic LYSO crystals: performance evaluation,
A.J. González, A. Aguilar, P. Conde, L. Hernández, L. Moliner, L.F. Vidal, F. Sánchez, S. Sánchez, C. Correcher, C. Molinos, J. Barbera, K. Lankes, S. Junge, T. Bruckbauer, Peter Bruyndonckx and Jose M. Benlloch
Transaction on Nuclear Science, 63(5), 2471 – 2477, 2016.

Pilot Studies with BGO Scintillators Coupled to Low-noise, Large-area, SiPM Arrays,
A.J. González, F. Sánchez, S. Majewski, P. Parkhurst, K. Vaigneur and J.M. Benlloch
Transaction on Nuclear Science, vol 63, issue 5, pages 2482-2486, 2016.

Determination of the Interaction Position of Gamma Photons in Monolithic Scintillators Using Neural Network Fitting,
P. Conde, A. Iborra, A. J. González, L. Hernández, P. Bellido, L. Moliner, J. P. Rigla, M. J. Rodríguez-Álvarez, F. Sánchez, M. Seimetz, A. Soriano, L. F. Vidal and J. M. Benlloch
Transaction on Nuclear Science 63(1), 30, 2016.

Analysis of the statistical moments of the scintillation light distribution with dSiPMs,
P.Conde, A. J. González, A. González, L. Hernández, P. Bellido, E. Crespo, A. Iborra, L. Moliner, J. P. Rigla, M. J. Rodríguez-Álvarez, F. Sánchez, M. Seimetz, A. Soriano, L. F. Vidal and J. M. Benlloch,
Transaction on Nuclear Science 62(5), 1981-1988, 2015

Detector block based on arrays of 144 SiPMs and monolithic scintillators: a performance study,
J. González, P. Conde, A. Iborra, A. Aguilar, P. Bellido, R. García-Olcina, L. Hernández, L. Moliner, J. P. Rigla, M.J. Rodríguez-Álvarez, F. Sánchez, M. Seimetz, A. Soriano, J. Torres, L.F. Vidal and J. M. Benlloch,
Nuclear Instruments and Methods A, 787, 42-45, 2015.

Timing results using an FPGA-based TDC with large arrays of 144 SiPMs,
A. Aguilar, A. J. González, J. Torres, R. García-Olcina, J. Martos, J. Soret, P. Conde, L. Hernández, F. Sánchez and J. M. Benlloch,
Transaction on Nuclear Science 62, 12-18, 2014

Performance study of a wide area SiPM array, ASICs controlled,         
J. González, S. Majewski, J. Barberá, P. Conde, C. Correcher, L. Hernández, C. Morera, L.F. Vidal San Sebastian, F. Sánchez, A. Stolin, and J. M. Benlloch
Transaction on Nuclear Science 62, 19-26, 2014

Results of a combined monolithic crystal and an array of ASICs controlled SiPMs,
P. Conde, A.J. González, L. Hernández, P. Bellido, A. Iborra, E. Crespo, L. Moliner, J.P. Rigla, M.J. Rodríguez-Álvarez, F. Sánchez, M. Seimetz, A. Soriano, L.F. Vidal, J.M. Benlloch
Nuclear Instruments Methods A 734,132-136, 2014

Time-to-digital converter based on FPGA with multiple channel capability,
J. Torres, A. Aguilar, R. García-Olcina, P. A. Martínez, J. Martos, J. Soret, J. M. Benlloch, P. Conde, A. J. González and F. Sánchez
Transaction Nuclear Science, vol 61, 107-114, 2014

ALBIRA: a small animal PET/SPECT/CT imaging system,
F. Sánchez, A. Orero, A. Soriano, C. Correcher, P. Conde, A. González, L. Hernández, L. Moliner, M.J. Rodríguez-Álvarez, L.F. Vidal, J.M. Benlloch, S.E. Chapman, W.M. Leevy.
Medical Physics, 40, 051906, 2013

Monolithic crystals with SiPMs read-out: optical coupling optimization,
A.J. Gonzalez, A. Peiro, P. Conde, L. Hernandez, Laura Moliner, Abel Orero, Maria J Rodriguez-Alvarez, Filomeno Sanchez, Antonio Soriano, Luis F Vidal, Jose M Benlloch.
Nuclear Instruments Methods A, 731, 288-294, 2013

Design of the PET-MR system for head imaging of the DREAM project,
A.J. González, P. Conde, L. Hernández, V. Herrero, L. Moliner , J.M. Monzó, A. Orero, A. Peiró, M.J. Rodríguez-Álvarez, A. Ros, F. Sánchez, A. Soriano, L.F. Vidal, J.M. Benlloch
Nuclear Instruments Methods A 702, pag. 94-97, 2013.

Minimization of parallax error in dedicated breast PET,
A. Soriano, A.J. González, F. Sánchez, P. Conde, L. Moliner, A. Orero, M.J. Rodríguez-Alvarez, L.F. Vidal, J.M. Benlloch
Transaction on Nuclear Science 60, 739-745, 2013

Simulation study of resistor networks applied to an array of 256 SiPMs,
A.J. González, M. Moreno, J. Barberá, P. Conde, L. Hernández, L. Moliner, J.M. Monzó, A. Orero, A. Peiró, R. Polo, M.J. Rodriguez-Alvarez, A. Ros, F. Sánchez, A. Soriano, L.F. Vidal, J.M. Benlloch,
Transaction on Nuclear Science 60, 592-598, 2013

Dual tracer imaging of SPECT and PET probes in living mice using a sequential protocol,
E. Chapman, J. D. Diener, T. A. Sasser, C. Correcher, A. J. Gonzalez, T. V. Avermaete and W. M. Leevy,
American Journal Nuclear Medicine Molecular Imaging 2 (4), 405-414, 2012

Innovative PET detector concept based on SiPMs and continuous crystals,
A.J. González, A. Peiró, F. Sánchez, L.F. Vidal, J.M. Benlloch,
Nuclear Instruments Methods A, 695, 213–217, 2012.

Small animal PET Scanner based on monolithic LYSO crystals: performance evaluation,
F.Sánchez, L. Moliner, C. Correcher, A. González, A. Orero, M. Carles, A. Soriano, M.J. Rodriguez-Alvarez, L.A. Medina, F. Mora, J. M. Benlloch,
Medical Physics 39 (2), 643-653, 2012.

Design and evaluation of the MAMMI dedicated breast PET,
L. Moliner, A. J. González, A. Soriano, F. Sánchez, C. Correcher, A. Orero, M. Carles, L. F. Vidal, J. Barberá, L. Caballero, M. Seimetz, C. Vázquez, J. M. Benlloch
Medical Physics 39, 5393, 2012.                              

Attenuation correction without transmission scan for the MAMMI breast PET,
A. Soriano, A. González, A. Orero, L. Moliner, M. Carles, F. Sánchez, J.M. Benlloch, C. Correcher, V. Carrilero, M. Seimetz,
Nuclear Instruments Methods A, vol 648, pag. S75-S78, 2010.

Scanner calibration of a small animal PET camera based on continuous LSO crystals and flat panel PSPMTs,
M. Benlloch, V. Carrilero, A. J. González, J. Catret, Ch. W. Lerche, D. Abellán, F. García de Quirós, M. Giménez, J. Modia, F. Sánchez, N. Pavón, A. Rosa, J. Martínez, A. Sebastiá
Nuclear Instruments Methods A, vol. 571(1), pag. 26, 2007.

PhD Thesis:

Pablo Conde Castellanos,Desarrollo de un sistema detector PET compatible con resonancia magnética, Universidad de Valencia, 14-Mar. 2017

Laura Moliner Martinez,Algoritmo list mode para tomógrafos PET de cristales continuos, Universidad de Valencia, 31-Oct. 2014

Abel Orero Palomares,Diseño e implementación de un SPECT pre-clínico basado en cristales continuos, Universidad de Valencia, 9-Nov. 2012

Antonio Peiró Cloquell,Sistema concentrador de luz para un detector híbrido PET-MR basado en cristales continuos y SiPM

Universidad Católica de Valencia, 3-Dec. 2012
Noriel Pavón Hernández,Diseño y desarrollo de una mini cámara gamma para uso intraquirúrgico, Universidad de Valencia, 12-Feb. 2010                

Ongoing PhD Thesis:

Sebastian Sanchez,Correcciones en Imagen y Reconstruccion PET, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia.

Andrea Gonzalez,Characterization and development of new PET detectors MR compatible, Universidad de Valencia

Gabriel Cañizares, Scintillation light transport, optimization on crystals suitable for gamma ray detectors, Universitdad Politecnica de Valencia