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26.05.2022 — Paweł Moskal (Jagiellonian University): Jagiellonian PET - a new method of cancer diagnosis based on positronium imaging

Abstract:

Jagiellonian PET (J-PET) is a novel technology for positron emission tomography (PET) invented and developed at the Jagiellonian University. During positron emission tomography about 40% of positron annihilations occur through the creation of positronium. Positronium, which may be formed in human tissues in the intramolecular spaces, is an exotic atom composed of an electron from tissue and the positron emitted by the radionuclide.  Positronium decay in the patient's body is sensitive to the nanostructure and metabolism of human tissues. This phenomenon is not used in present PET diagnostics, yet it is in principle possible to exploit such environment-modified properties of positronium as diagnostic biomarkers for cancer assessment. Our first in-vitro studies have shown differences in the positronium mean lifetime and production probability in healthy and cancerous tissues, indicating that they may be used as indicators for in-vivo cancer classification. In the lecture, the method of positronium imaging and the pilot positronium images obtained with the J-PET detector (the first PET system based on plastic scintillators) will be presented and explained. The basis of operation of the J-PET tomograph -  the only device enabling imaging of positronium properties in living organisms - will be also presented and explained.

The seminar's recording will be published soon.

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