New research has solved the problem with the image noise that can plague the molecular imaging of small animal organisms when using multiple radionuclides as probes (tracers). This technique successfully imaged each nuclide simultaneously and accurately. The results were announced by The University of Tokyo Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU), with participation from Associate Professor WATANABE Shin from the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) at JAXA. The project was led by Project Assistant Professor YAGISHITA Atsushi of IPMU, in the research group of Professor TAKAHASHI Tadayuki.
The imaging detector with a cadmium telluride (CdTe) semiconductor detector used for this research had been developed first for space observation principally at ISAS, JAXA, and was based on the instrument previously flown onboard the X-ray astronomy satellite, Hitomi (ASTRO-H).
The research is also the product of the collaboration between JAXA ISAS and Kavli IPMU, whose researchers participated in the "Hard X-ray / Gamma Ray Imaging Collaboration Center", which began full-scale activities on April 1, 2018.
Not only was the CdTe detector, which was previously developed as a hard X-ray and gamma ray detector for space observation, applied to molecular imaging, but the spectral analysis method for astronomical observation data was also applied to the analysis method. The resulting achievement in the development of the new imaging technology for investigating the dynamics of molecules in small animal organisms is therefore based both on the techniques and analysis methods developed in astrophysics.