My research focuses on the investigation of improved imaging geometries and the development of more precise image reconstruction algorithms for Single Photon Emission Computed Tomographic imaging, or SPECT.
SPECT is a nuclear medicine tomographic imaging technique using gamma rays. It is able to provide a 3D image of patient's functional information. The basic technique requires injection of a gamma-emitting radioisotope (also called radionuclide) into the bloodstream of the patient. Most of the time in SPECT, a marker radioisotope, which is of interest only for its radioactive properties, has been attached to a special radioligand, which is of interest for its chemical binding properties to certain types of tissues. This marriage allows the combination of ligand and radioisotope (the radiopharmaceutical) to be carried and bound to a place of interest in the body, which then (due to the gamma-emission of the isotope) allows the ligand concentration to be seen by a gamma-camera.
SPECT images are different from the X-ray CT images. The X-ray CT uses external X-rays to image patient's anatomical structure, while SPECT uses injected internal gamma rays to image patient's chemical properties, in the form of 3D distribution of a radionuclide picture.