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Unformatted text preview: S P E C I A L C O N T R I B U T I O N The 2006 Henry N. Wagner Lecture: Of Mice and Men (and Positrons)Advances in PET Imaging Technology* Simon R. Cherry Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of CaliforniaDavis, Davis, California There have been major advances in PET technology that cumu- latively have helped improve image quality, increased the range of applications for PET, and contributed to the more widespread use of PET. Examples of these technologic advances include whole-body imaging, 3-dimensional imaging, new scintillator materials, iterative reconstruction algorithms, combined PET/ CT, and preclinical PET. New advances on the immediate hori- zon include the reintroduction of time-of-flight PET, which takes advantage of the favorable timing properties of newer scintilla- tors; the integration of PET and MRI scanners into a dual-modality imaging system; and the possibility of further significant im- provements in spatial resolution in preclinical PET systems. Sen- sitivity remains a limiting factor in many PET studies. Although, conceptually, huge gains in sensitivity are still possible, realizing these gains is thwarted largely by economic rather than scientific concerns. Predicting the future is fraught with difficulty; nonethe- less, it is apparent that ample opportunities remain for new devel- opment and innovation in PET technology that will be driven by the demands of molecular medicine, notably sensitive and spe- cific molecular diagnostic tools and the ability to quantitatively monitor therapeutic entities that include small molecules, pep- tides, antibodies, nanoparticles, DNA/RNA, and cells. Key Words: instrumentation; molecular imaging; PET; positron emission tomography; PET/MRI; time-of-flight J Nucl Med 2006; 47:17351745 O n the surface, the design of PET scanners appears to have changed little over the past 15 years. However, beneath the sleek exteriors, there has been a revolution in the technologies and methods that are now used. Many talented scientists in academia and industry have contrib- uted to the conception of these ideas and have then worked hard to reduce them to practicein the process dramati- cally improving the spatial resolution, sensitivity, and counting rate performance of PET systems and, in doing so, expanding the range of applications in which PET can pro- vide effective information, whether that be in the context of a clinical diagnostic study, in clinical or basic human re- search, or in preclinical research. In the first part of this discussion, I will take a retro- spective look at some of the key advances in PET technol- ogy over the past 20 years and the impact they have had on our field. This discussion will demonstrate the continued and sustained innovation that has been instrumental in making PET the powerful translational molecular modality that it has unquestionably become. In the second part, I will look to the near future and highlight 3 emerging themes...
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- Spring '08