Time-of-Flight technology implementation in the HadronPET for in-situ proton beam range monitoring


  • Call:

    ProtoTera Call 2023/1

  • Academic Year:


  • Supervisor:

    Ana Luisa Silva

  • Co-Supervisor:

    João Veloso

  • Host Institution:

    I3N – Institute for Nanostructures, Nanomodelling and Nanofabrication (Aveiro Pole)

  • Granting Degree Institution:

    Universidade de Aveiro

  • Typology:


  • Abstract:

    Proton range verification is a critical aspect of proton therapy. It involves verifying the precise location of the proton beam as it travels through the patient's body, ensuring that the target is met while minimizing exposure to healthy tissue. It can be done using several techniques, including imaging techniques such as PET imaging, which can be used to visualize the location and extent of the proton beam in the patient's body; ionization chambers that measure the energy deposited by the proton beam as it passes through the body; and scintillation detectors, which detect the passage of protons, allowing for the determination of the proton range. Using PET for beam quality assessment in proton therapy has the advantage of being able to quickly generate a 3D map of β+ decay and correlate it with the beam interaction in the phantom, which is an improvement over current technologies that utilize stacks of 2D representations of the beam profile. However, in Proton Therapy Centers (PTC), the PET system is not in the treatment room, making it necessary to use phantoms for beam quality assessments to be carried out in another place, which causes a loss of signal due to the brief half-life of the isotopes produced. One solution is to use benchtop PET scanners such as the HadronPET, which can be deployed in various locations in the PTC. The main goal of the proposed PhD thesis is to implement time-of-flight technology in the HadronPET system, which is already under development. This implementation represents an important tool in strategies for proton beam quality assessment with PET systems since it will contribute to significantly reducing image artifacts in realistic clinical irradiations by including time-of-flight (TOF) information in the reconstruction and improving the image signal-to-noise ratio in a low count-rate scenario.

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