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A positron emission tomography (PET) camera capable of transforming its geometric configuration is being developed. This high-resolution oncologic transformable PET (HOTPET) can be modified from a large detector ring of 83 cm to a small diameter ring of 54 cm. The system consists of 12 rectangular detector modules arranged in a polygon. The detector gap between modules remains constant in both configurations because each module is rotated around its own axis and displaced radially, bringing together adjacent modules. HOTPETs detectors are highly pixilated (crystal pitch 2.6 mm), requiring accurate placement of the modules relative to each other to ensure alignment of crystals within the same detector ring. We have designed a precise detector bank holder with keyways and complementary keys built onto its sides to allow interlocking with each other to form a polygon and maintain crystal coplanarity. Consequently, we were able to design the gantry supporting the modules using wider tolerances and so reduce its construction cost. The module provides support to 77 photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), the analog front-end electronics, and an automated PMT-gain control, all enclosed within a controlled environment. Potential development of light leaks was minimized with only two parting surfaces throughout the module's box, and tortuous-path air ducts inside the walls. Internal airflow allows temperature control. Simple removal of a back cover and a motherboard gives access to any part of the electronic components or a PMT with minimal disturbance to other components.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2005