Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

An Imaging System Using Combined Mechanical and Electronic Collimation

Technology #2334

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Neal H. Clinthorne
Managed By
Tiefei Dong
Senior Licensing Specialist, Life Sciences 734-763-5332


Image of the radiation density of a source of photons located in an object in real-time may be used in various medical imaging techniques. In this regard, various collimation methods for nuclear medicine applications have been explored, including mechanical collimators involving certain degrees of multiplexing. Unfortunately, this improvement is usually achieved at the expense of the amount of information conveyed by each detected photon. As a result, the signal-to-noise ratio in the collected data deteriorates dramatically when continuous background is introduced. In order to decode the data to provide a useful image, an unrealistically large number of counts are normally required. The uses of these image formation methods are currently limited to some particular imaging applications, in which the object-to-background ratio is reasonably large.


Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a practical and cost-effective method and system for generating an image of the radiation density of a source of photons located in an object in real-time to improve image quality by utilizing extra information from detected Compton scattering events. Specifically, the method mechanically collimates photon emissions and sampling the object at several view angles substantially simultaneously. A processor reconstructs an image using data containing detected Compton scattering events and detected non-Compton scattering events.

Applications and Advantages


  • Improved image quality for nuclear medicine


  • Valuable enhancement be achieved by adding-nl-only a small fraction of gamma rays with reduced-nl-angular ambiguity.
  • The system does not require a highly optimized-nl-Compton camera behind the collimator.