Layal Jambi - Presenter Profile

What is Going On Inside Your Body?

In this article, Layal Jambi describes her research into the use of gamma radiation cameras in medical contexts.

About My Research

Sometimes seeing things from the outside does not tell the whole story. It might look fine on the outside but inside all may not be well. With this in mind, nuclear diagnostic imaging is an area of radiology that allows physicians to see from the outside how the body is working inside. Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty that can detect gamma radiation coming from inside the patient’s body after the injection of the radioactive material. Thus, determining the cause of medical problems based on organ function.

Gamma radiation can be detected by devices called gamma cameras. The sensing elements in these cameras are called radiation detectors. Detection of radiation is related to the absorption of radiation and how it interacts with matter.  There are several types of radiation detectors which are categorised according to the general mode of interaction mechanisms and process of recording the acquired data. Scintillation detectors and semiconductor detectors are such types that are used in medical imaging to convert radiation energy into an electronic signal. The development of portable gamma cameras offers new applications for intraoperative imaging. Multi-modality systems have a long heritage in nuclear medicine. A multi-model gamma-optical system has been proposed as one possibility for improving surgical utility. This study investigates the efficacy of the Hybrid Compact Gamma Camera (HCGC) in intraoperative imaging in procedures such as sentinel lymph node biopsies. Also, initial images of simulated lymphatic vessels using a 0.55 mm diameter cannula filled with 99mTc solution have been described.

The Hybrid Compact Gamma Camera (HCGC) is a novel handheld small field of view (SFOV) compact hybrid gamma-optical camera developed in the Space Research Centre, University of Leicester. The combination of an optical and a gamma-ray camera, in a co-aligned configuration, offers high spatial resolution, approximately 1mm scintigraphic imaging fused with anatomical information from an optical image. The technology has the potential to be operated as a hand-held camera during intraoperative procedures. The camera consists of charged coupled device (CCD), a thallium-doped caesium iodide CsI(TI) scintillator and a tungsten pinhole collimator. The distance between the CCD and the pinhole collimator is 10mm which is fixed. While the distance between the pinhole collimator and the source being imaged is varied to determine the magnification factor on the CCD. A 3mm thickness tungsten shielding is surrounding the head of the hybrid camera and in order to isolate the head thermally and electrically; it is sealed in a non-toxic plastic enclosure. Both of the gamma-ray and optical cameras are connected to the readout and control electronic system all are managed by a standard PC or laptop.

My Research Findings

The characteristics of the HCGC have been found to compare favourably with SFOV cameras currently in use. Spatial resolution of less than 1mm was recorded with a system sensitivity of up to 214cps/MBq. The effect of operator motion on spatial resolution was found to be less than 25%.  Hybrid optical and gamma images of the simulated lymphatic vessel are produced by the HCGC. Fused images showed good alignment of the two modalities allowing localization of activity. The performance characteristics of a hybrid camera have been described and initial images demonstrate that it is ideally suited for intraoperative imaging. The anatomical context provided by the optical camera aids the physical localization of radiopharmaceutical uptake. These studies encourage us to carry out further evaluation in preparation for its use in a surgical theatre setting. The next stage of this research is to try using different types of scintillators which is Gadolinium Oxysulfide (GOS) ceramic scintillator. Also, make a comparison between the GOS and the currently used CsI(TI) in our hybrid compact gamma camera.

About Layal Jambi

Layal Jambi is a PhD Student at the University of Leicester (2015)Layal Jambi is a research student working towards completion of her doctoral degree in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Layal is supervised by Dr John Lees and Professor Alan Perkins.

Layal will present her work at the Festival of Postgraduate Research 6 July 2015 - see Layal's Festival poster.

The Festival is open to all members of the University community and the public - book your place here.

Contact Layal

Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of Leicester

University Road

LEICESTER

LE1 7RH

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