Basic Terms and Facillities

What is PET?
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine medical imaging technique which produces a three-dimensional image or map of functional processes in the body. To conduct the scan a short-lived radioactive tracer isotope, which decays by emitting a positron and is chemically incorporated into a metabolically active molecule, is injected into the living subject (usually into blood circulation). There is a waiting period while the metabolically active molecule becomes concentrated in tissues of interest; then the research subject or patient is placed in the imaging scanner. The molecule most commonly used for this purpose is fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a sugar, for which the waiting period is typically an hour.

What is a Cyclotron?
A cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator. Cyclotrons accelerate charged particles using a high-frequency, alternating voltage (potential difference). A perpendicular magnetic field causes the particles to spiral almost in a circle so that they re-encounter the accelerating voltage many times. The electrodes shown at the right would be in the vacuum chamber, which is flat, in a narrow gap between the two poles of a large magnet.

In the cyclotron, a high-frequency alternating voltage applied across the "D" electrodes (also called "dees") alternately attracts and repels charged particles. The particles accelerate only when passing through the gap between the electrodes. The perpendicular magnetic field (passing vertically through the "D" electrodes) forces the particles to travel in a circular path. The particles move in a circle, because a current of electrons or ions, flowing perpendicular to a magnetic field, experiences a perpendicular force. The charged particles move freely in a vacuum, so the particles follow a circular path.

Our Equipment

  • Two IBA Cyclotron (18/9)
  • Fluorine 18 targets
  • Carbon 11 targets
  • Nitrogen 13 targets
  • Solid target