UC Davis miniEXPLORER Symposium
On June 19, UC Davis held the miniEXPLORER symposium at the School of Veterinary Medicine, with an attendance of ~75 people. With the number One Veterinary School in the country, the School of Medicine, the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering, UC Davis provides a unique environment for translational research. The vision of this symposium was the demonstration of the capabilities of PET for companion and research animals, as well as the power of PET for translational studies. Eight oral presentations showcased studies that have been done with the first miniEXPLORER prototype or will be done with the miniEXPLORER II that we anticipate to be functional in Fall 2017. The event was followed by a reception to promote networking and discussions of potential collaborations between investigators. Incentive for research will be given in the form of four pilot grants to be awarded in September and presented at the second part of the symposium planned in the Fall.
EXPLORER Consortium Selects Industry Partners
The EXPLORER consortium has selected two industry partners to help build the first prototype scanner. They are United Imaging Healthcare (UIH) America, a North American subsidiary of Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare, and SensL Technologies of Cork, Ireland. UIH America was selected to build the first total-body PET scanner after an extensive review of potential commercial partners. “We are very proud to be selected to be part of the EXPLORER consortium and provide the system design support required to deliver a system capable of outstanding performance,” said Hongdi Li, CEO of UIH America. The detector technology in the scanner will incorporate the latest generation solid-state silicon photomultiplier light sensors instead of the photomultiplier tubes used in conventional PET scanners. “The use of silicon photomultiplier technology is rapidly replacing older photomultiplier tube technologies and provides improved resolution for a system of this scale,” said Bryan Campbell, CEO of SensL, which will supply the detectors. “We believe we have gathered leaders in the medical imaging field to quickly and cost effectively bring this technology to reality in an exciting and innovative way,” said Ramsey Badawi, co-leader of the project.
UC Davis Built mini-EXPLORER System
The team at UC Davis in collaboration with Siemens Medical Solutions have recently built and evaluated a prototype PET scanner for high sensitivity and total-body imaging of non-human primates, called the mini-EXPLORER. The mini-EXPLORER was built from a decommissioned clinical PET scanner, and rearranging the components into a scanner suitable for total-body monkey imaging. The mini-EXPLORER scanner will support research studies at the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) and allow the EXPLORER team and collaborators to explore new imaging applications enabled by total-body PET. The scanner is expected to be deployed by early 2017. First images of a rat imaged dynamically using F-18[FDG] showed excellent image quality and sensitivity of the PET system.
UC Davis Received EXPLORER Mock-up System from UIH America
UC Davis installed a mock-up system of the EXPLORER total body scanner. The system has the exact same geometry and dimensions as the final system. While the system does not have a functional PET or CT component it provides a fully functional patient bed. This mock up system will be used to investigate patient comfort and develop EXPLORER specific imaging workflows.
IEEE MIC Strasbourg
Experiments on the Feasibility Evaluation of a long axial field-of-view PET scanner for non-human primates have been presented at the IEEE Medical Imaging Conference 2016 in Strasbourg, France.
NIH Transformative Research Award – $15.5 million
Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi have received a $15.5 million, 5-year NIH Transformative Research Award to lead the consortium that is tasked with the development of EXPLORER, the world’s first total-body PET scanner. (R01 CA206187)