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Med Phys. 2006 Feb;33(2):465-74.

SemiSPECT: a small-animal single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imager based on eight cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) detector arrays.

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College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85724, USA.


The first full single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imager to exploit eight compact high-intrinsic-resolution cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) detectors, called SemiSPECT, has been completed. Each detector consists of a CZT crystal and a customized application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). The CZT crystal is a 2.7 cm x 2.7 cm x -0.2 cm slab with a continuous top electrode and a bottom electrode patterned into a 64 x 64 pixel array by photolithography. The ASIC is attached to the bottom of the CZT crystal by indium-bump bonding. A bias voltage of -180 V is applied to the continuous electrode. The eight detectors are arranged in an octagonal lead-shielded ring. Each pinhole in the eight-pinhole aperture placed at the center of the ring is matched to each individual detector array. An object is imaged onto each detector through a pinhole, and each detector is operated independently with list-mode acquisition. The imaging subject can be rotated about a vertical axis to obtain additional angular projections. The performance of SemiSPECT was characterized using 99mTc. When a 0.5 mm diameter pinhole is used, the spatial resolution on each axis is about 1.4 mm as estimated by the Fourier crosstalk matrix, which provides an algorithm-independent average resolution over the field of view. The energy resolution achieved by summing neighboring pixel signals in a 3 x 3 window is about 10% full-width-at-half-maximum of the photopeak. The overall system sensitivity is about 0.5 x 10(-4) with the energy window of +/-10% from the photopeak. Line-phantom images are presented to visualize the spatial resolution provided by SemiSPECT, and images of bone, myocardium, and human tumor xenografts in mice demonstrate the feasibility of preclinical small-animal studies with SemiSPECT.

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