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AUTOMATED LOADING MECHANISM FOR POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY (PET) RADIOACTIVE SOURCE PHANTOM

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241564D
Publication Date: 2015-May-12
Document File: 6 page(s) / 245K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The proposed invention proposes an automated loading mechanism of a phantom for PET/CT system during daily quality control (DQA) procedures. The automated loading mechanism includes a lead safe enclosure to store the phantom, guides and ball screws to open and close the safe enclosure, and a motor drive to lift the phantom through a scissor mechanism. Further, the phantom is moved automatically to a required phantom mounting position to a cradle. The phantom is docked to the cradle and scan is done without any manual interventions.

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AUTOMATED LOADING MECHANISM FOR POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY (PET) RADIOACTIVE SOURCE PHANTOM

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates generally to positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) technologies and more particularly to an automated technique for loading a radioactive source phantom in a positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) system.                                                           

Generally, phantoms are used to complete comprehensive performance evaluation of an imaging system as a part of daily quality assurance (DQA) procedures.  There are various phantom designs, for example, an annulus radiation phantom for various quality assurance procedures. Prior art techniques employ manual mounting and un-mounting of the phantoms.  However, the manual mounting and un-mounting is cumbersome and also exposes an operator to harmful radiations during daily procedures.

There are several conventional techniques utilizing automated mechanisms to handle the phantoms for DQA procedures. For example, a conventional system discloses a radioactive source loader.  The radioactive source loader is attached to a rotatable CT gantry.  The radioactive source loader includes radioactive pins therein to calibrate the PET imaging apparatus.  The radioactive pins are configured to selectively extend out from the radiation shield using an electric motor.

In another conventional technique, an automated calibration apparatus for combined PET/CT scanner system is proposed.  The automated calibration apparatus includes a support structure carrying a rotation motor that drives a phantom. The technique involves multiple calibration tasks and is very complex for daily procedures.  The calibration tasks involves multiple tasks, such as a gantry offset determination, a gantry setup, a time alignment, normalization, and a quality check.  Further, most of the conventional techniques are not effective in completely preventing the operator from the radiation exposure during set-up procedures.

It would be desirable to have an automated technique for loading a radioactive source phantom (also the phantom) in a positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) system during the DQA procedures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Figure 1 depicts a closed position of a lead enclosure configured in a PET/CT system.

Figure 2 depicts an open position of the lead enclosure and a phantom lifted at PET Iso center using drive and scissor mechanism.

Figure 3 depicts docking of phantom to a cradle using ball plunger.

Figure 4 depicts movement of phantom to a daily quality assurance (DQA) scan position.

Figure 5 depicts un-dock position of the cradle.

Figure 6 depicts open and back to close position of the lead enclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The proposed invention provides an automated technique for handling a radioactive source phantom (also called phantom) in a positron em...