Novel Electro-Optical Coupling Technique for Magnetic Resonance-Compatible Positron Emission Tomography Detectors
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A new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-compatible positron emission tomography (PET) detector design is being developed that uses electro-optical coupling to bring the amplitude and arrival time information of high-speed PET detector scintillation pulses out of an MRI system. The electro-optical coupling technology consists of a magnetically insensitive photodetector output signal connected to a nonmagnetic vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) diode that is coupled to a multimode optical fiber. This scheme essentially acts as an optical wire with no influence on the MRI system. To test the feasibility of this approach, a lutetium-yttrium oxyorthosilicate crystal coupled to a single pixel of a solid-state photomultiplier array was placed in coincidence with a lutetium oxyorthosilicate crystal coupled to a fast photomultiplier tube with both the new nonmagnetic VCSEL coupling and the standard coaxial cable signal transmission scheme. No significant change was observed in 511 keV photopeak energy resolution and coincidence time resolution. This electro-optical coupling technology enables an MRI-compatible PET block detector to have a reduced electromagnetic footprint compared with the signal transmission schemes deployed in the current MRI/PET designs.
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