EXIRAD-HE: Multi-pinhole high-resolution ex vivo imaging of high-energy isotopes

Minh Phuong Nguyen*, Marlies C. Goorden, Freek J. Beekman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


We recently developed a dedicated focusing multi-pinhole collimator for a stationary SPECT system that offers down to 120 m (or 1.7 nL) spatial resolution SPECT images of cryo-cooled tissue samples (EXIRAD-3D). This collimator is suitable for imaging isotopes that are often used in small animal and diagnostic SPECT such as 125I (27 keV), 201Tl (71 keV), 99mTc (140 keV), and 111In (171 and 245 keV). The goal of the present work is to develop high-resolution pinhole imaging of tissue samples containing isotopes with high-energy photon emissions, for example, therapeutic alpha and beta emitters that co-emit high energy gammas (e.g. 213Bi (440 keV) and 131I (364 keV)) or 511 keV annihilation photons from PET isotopes. To this end, we optimise and evaluate a new high energy small-bore multi-pinhole collimator through simulations. The collimator-geometry was first optimised by simulating a Derenzo phantom scan with a biologically realistic activity concentration of 18F at two system sensitivities (0.30% and 0.60%) by varying pinhole placements. Subsequently, the wall thickness was selected based on reconstructions of a Derenzo phantom and a uniform phantom. The obtained collimators were then evaluated for 131I (364 keV), 213Bi (440 keV), 64Cu (511 keV), and 124I (511 + 603 keV) with biologically realistic activity concentrations, and also for some high activity concentrations of 18F, using digital resolution, mouse knee joint, and xenograft phantoms. Our results show that placing pinhole centres at a distance of 8 mm from the collimator inner wall yields good image quality, while a wall thickness of 43 mm resulted in sufficient shielding. The collimators offer resolutions down to 0.35 mm, 0.6 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.6 mm, and 0.5 mm when imaging 131I, 213Bi, 18F, 64Cu, and 124I, respectively, contained in tissue samples at biologically achievable activity concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number225029
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Ex vivo
  • High-energy isotope
  • Multi-pinhole
  • Spect
  • Tissue sample


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