Jefferson Lab Scientists Build Small-Animal Imager for German Cancer Research Center


Scientists in the Biomedical Detector Research and Development Program within the Physics Division of the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility have developed and built a small-animal animal imaging device for the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, an institute similar to the National Cancer Institute in the United States. The device is an ultra-high performance gamma camera detector that will be combined in Heidelberg with an optical detector to create a tomographic system for small animals capable of producing 3 dimensional images of the distribution of both radiotracers and fluorescent / bioluminescent molecules in rats or mice. The multi-crystal gamma detector utilizes a new type of position sensitive photomultiplier tube to achieve the spatial resolutions under 0.5 mm needed for studying small animals. Such resolution is not available in any commercial instrument. While nearly every member of the Detector Group played a role in developing or fabricating the gamma detector, Dr. Mark Smith was the project manager for this effort and led the team of 3 scientists, who assembled the device for the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg at the end of April 2005.