We developed a prototype positron emission tomography (PET) system based on a new concept called Open-close PET, which has two modes: open and close-modes. In the open-mode, the detector ring is separated into two halved rings and subject is imaged with the open space and projection image is formed. In the close-mode, the detector ring is closed to be a regular circular ring, and the subject can be imaged without an open space, and so reconstructed images can be made without artifacts. The block detector of the Open-close PET system consists of two scintillator blocks that use two types of gadolinium orthosilicate (GSO) scintillators with different decay times, angled optical fiber-based image guides, and a flat panel photomultiplier tube. The GSO pixel size was 1.6 × 2.4 × 7 mm and 8 mm for fast (35 ns) and slow (60 ns) GSOs, respectively. These GSOs were arranged into an 11 × 15 matrix and optically coupled in the depth direction to form a depth-of-interaction detector. The angled optical fiber-based image guides were used to arrange the two scintillator blocks at 22.5°so that they can be arranged in a hexadecagonal shape with eight block detectors to simplify the reconstruction algorithm. The detector ring was divided into two halves to realize the open-mode and set on a mechanical stand with which the distance between the two parts can be manually changed. The spatial resolution in the close-mode was 2.4-mm FWHM, and the sensitivity was 1.7% at the center of the field-of-view. In both the close- and open-modes, we made sagittal (y-z plane) projection images between the two halved detector rings. We obtained reconstructed and projection images of 18F-NaF rat studies and proton-irradiated phantom images. These results indicate that our developed Open-close PET is useful for some applications such as proton therapy as well as other applications such as molecular imaging.
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