At the Leicester and Nottingham universities in England, scientists have miniaturized a gamma camera so that it can be used bedside to help spot and diagnose tumors and lymph nodes. Current gamma ray imaging systems take up an entire room within nuclear medicine departments, which puts limits on how many patients can be scanned and doesn’t allow its use in other environments, such as the operating theater. Gamma probes, on the other hand, used for lymph node mapping and parathyroid tumor removal, don’t have imaging capabilities. They’re essentially Geiger counters used to locate targets injected with a radionuclide.
The new device is a hybrid of a tiny gamma ray camera and an optical sensor (we’re guessing near-infrared) that can help visualize the target lymph node, tumor, or even small organ after homing in on the radioactive marker. The team is looking forward to studying other uses for the device, including evaluating lymphatic and lacrimal drainage.
Here’s Dr John Lees from the University of Leicester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, talking about the development of the new deivce:
Source: University of Leicester…