In comparison to technical applications, the development of detector systems for medicine makes additional demands. Especially for imaging diagnostics, the optimasation of the image quality with regard to radiation protection of the patient is one major objective.
In close collaboration with partners from industry and medicine, a hand-held gamma camera for sentinel lymph node biopsies was developed. Within this work, two main tasks arose. The first was to conceptually design and to optimise the preliminary system. For this, radiation transport was applied to calculate principal properties of the hypothetical system before its practical realisation, in order to understand the behavior of image formation in detail, and finally and with all this information to gain cost savings by not having to build too many prototypes.
The second task was to physicslly characterise the detector systems. Properties like the linearity of the response or the spatial and spectral response have to be determined through measurements. With this information, the quanitative comparison with alternate systems is possible.
For such studies, the radiation physics group possesses a wide range of nuclide sources as well as X-Ray sources, with which irradiations of broad variation in radiation energy and intensity can be accomplished. It is possible to achieve standardised irradiation conditions, or one can produce scattered radiation fields by using so-called phantoms.