Swiss companies CSEM and Swisstrace have unveiled a new nuclear medicine blood sampler for monitoring the time-course of radioactivity in whole blood.
The firms claim that the Twilite device is smaller than any other similar component and supposedly is the only sampler designed for use in combination PET/NMR devices.
From the press release:
PET uses specific short-lived radioactive tracers to measure metabolism or other parameters in target tissue. To obtain quantitative images, the level of radioactive tracer in the blood must often be monitored in real time. Current solutions for monitoring are large, inconvenient and inappropriate in many clinical situations especially in the presence of high external radiation (electromagnetic interference with other devices). This is why Twilite is so important. Not only is it smaller and more compact than existing systems, it also shows excellent sensitivity, linearity and signal-to-noise ratio. To improve PET’s diagnostic accuracy it is often used in conjunction with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) scanners, but the high magnetic field of NMR scanners renders most electronics unusable. Twilite‘s unique design makes it insensitive to magnetic fields and ideal for use with NMR scanners.
Standard samplers use scintillating crystals and light detectors in a single bulky housing which must be shielded with lead. The resulting instruments are bulky, extremely heavy and incompatible with many environments including NMR scanners and animal experimentation.
The beauty of Twilite is that it converts the radioactive tracer’s signal into an optical signal which is carried by liquid light guides to the data logging and signal processing system. This result in a much smaller measuring head made from special materials that are 100% compatible with NMR, and places the electronics and other hardware at a convenient distance from the monitoring head and the patient.