October 21, 2009--Solid-state low-light detector manufacturer sensL (Cork, Ireland) announced its collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL; Berkeley, CA) on an open-source positron emission tomography (PET) electronics program called openPET. Both groups are actively working together with users to produce the first prototype system that will incorporate sensL's solid-state light detectors and readout system with LBNL's back-end electronics (see also "SensL's silicon photomultiplier enables PET/MRI brain imaging" and "Philips announces breakthrough in fully digital silicon photomultiplier technology").
OpenPET is designed so that it is compatible with a wide variety of detectors and will be freely available to researchers and organisations within the Medical Imaging field. The openPET group believes this will speed the development of new Medical Imaging systems in the detection of cancer, Alzheimer's, and cardiac disease. This concept mimics the open source software movement which has revolutionised the software industry.
"Our concept is that the openPET electronics serve the needs of users in raw performance and be scalable enough to be used in systems ranging in size from test stands with a small number of channels up to complete cameras with many detectors," said Bill Moses, senior scientist at the Life Science division of LBNL. "But the most important requirement is that it will be flexible and easy to use. We have designed the system to be flexible enough that anybody who develops a new detector will be able to plug it into openPET and have it running within hours. We also envision an openPET user community that shares open-source software for data acquisition, calibration, etc., which will allow users to go from concept to working camera in record time."
The founder and CTO of sensL, Carl Jackson, said, "To date, open source has not been used in Medical Imaging. We believe it provides the fastest and most effective way to introduce our silicon photomultiplier technology to the market. The openPET system will allow new Medical Imaging concepts to be brought to completion faster than before."
Further information on openPET and relevant contacts is provided at openpet.lbl.gov.
For more information on sensL, go to www.sensl.com.