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Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine technique used to generate images of the body from the physiological point of view. PET used for early diagnosis and monitoring of tumours, analyzing the function of the heart and studying brain diseases. The current limitations are administration of harmful radiopharmaceuticals in high dose necessary, Equipped with expensive, non-intelligent sensors with limited performance (so-called photomultiplier tubes) and it is not compatible with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

SPADnet aims to develop a new generation of smart, large area networked image sensors, based on a conventional CMOS fabrication technology (the same as used for microchips or sensors in cell phone cameras, for example), for photon-starved biomedical applications.

SPADnet – “Fully Networked, Digital Components for Photonstarved Biomedical Imaging Systems” – is a new collaborative research project funded by the European Union within the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Theme of its Seventh Research Framework Programme (Fp7). SPADnet will build ring-assembly modules for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) medical imaging, and carry out performance tests in a PET system evaluation test bed.

Thursday, 1 July, 2010 to Tuesday, 31 December, 2013

Improve system performance with intelligent sensors in order to reduce the dose of radioisotopes administered to the patient. Create a prototype based on a technology from consumer electronics to reduce costs

42 months
  • Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy)
  • Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)
  • University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
  • STMicroelectronics (United Kingdom and France)
  • Mediso Medical Imaging Systems (Hungary)
  • CEA-LETI (France)
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary)
3.7 million euro
Unit role: 

The main role of FBK will be to design and test in cooperation with the University of Edinburgh the CMOS chip implementing the SPAD sensors and the embedded intelligence to achieve the desired sensin capabilities.

Research topics: