Performance evaluation of the microPET focus: A third-generation microPET scanner dedicated to animal imaging

Yuan Chuan Tai, Ananya Ruangma, Douglas Rowland, Stefan Siegel, Danny F. Newport, Patrick L. Chow, Richard Laforest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

371 Scopus citations


The microPET Focus is the latest generation microPET system dedicated to high-resolution animal imaging and incorporates several changes to enhance its performance. This study evaluated the basic performance of the scanner and compared it with the Primate (P4) and Rodent (R4) models. Methods: The system consists of 168 lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO) detectors arranged in 4 contiguous rings, with a 25.8-cm diameter and a 7.6-cm axial length. Each detector consists of a 12 × 12 LSO crystal array of 1.51 × 1.51 × 10.00 mm3 elements. The scintillation light is transmitted to position-sensitive photomultiplier tubes via optical fiber bundles. The system was evaluated for its energy and spatial resolutions, sensitivity, and noise equivalent counting rate. Phantoms and animals of varying sizes were scanned to evaluate its imaging capability. Results: The energy resolution averages 18.5% for the entire system. Reconstructed image resolution is 1.3-mm full width at half maximum (FWHM) at the center of field of view (CFOV) and remains under 2 mm FWHM within the central 5-cm-diameter FOV in all 3 dimensions. The absolute sensitivity of the system is 3.4% at the CFOV for an energy window of 250-750 keV and a timing window of 10 ns. The noise equivalent counting-rate performance reaches 645 kcps for a mouse-size phantom using 250-to 750-keV and 6-ns settings. Emission images of a micro-Derenzo phantom demonstrate the improvement in image resolution compared with previous models. Animal studies exhibit the capability of the system in studying disease models using mouse, rat, and nonhuman primates. Conclusion: The Focus has significantly improved performance over the previous models in all areas evaluated. This system represents the state-of-the-art scintillator-based animal PET scanner currently available and is expected to advance the potential of small animal PET.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-463
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


  • Animal PET scanner
  • Instrumentation
  • MicroPET
  • Performance evaluation


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