SPADnet to Focus on Intelligent Image Sensors for Biomedical Applications

An innovative co-operative research scheme, the SPADnet (Fully Networked, Digital Components for Photon-starved Biomedical Imaging Systems), is financially supported by European Union’s Communication Technologies’ (ICT) research theme, as part of its Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7).

The scheme was implemented on 1st July, 2010 and is organized by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), encompassing seven eminent European specialists from the field of medical imaging, image sensing and photonics. The SPADnet funding was about €3.7 million for a period of more than 42 months.

The SPADnet programme focuses on advancing the latest generation of intelligent, CMOS technology oriented wide area networking image systems for biomedical photon-starved purposes, ring-assembly systems for use in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging applications and perform tests in a PET evaluation methodology. The prevailing sensing devices are ideal for recurrent calibration technique applications but fail to function effectively in single-shot diagnostic measurement systems involving unique radiation identification, SPECT, PET, gamma cameras and in various other non-invasive biomedical tools. The restricted performance of the current sensors limits its utility.

The major aim of the project is to construct a measurable photonic element for larger mode imaging of the special events. The central point of the photonic component will be embedded with a SPAD sequence devised in CMOS. The larger format will be obtained by mixing numerous dies closely without gaps in abutment mode, utilizing new packaging methodologies supported by through-silicon vias (TSVs). The effectiveness in marking the direction and time of individual photon scattering in a collision event is another important advancement in the field. By implementing the space oversampling methodology it is possible to measure the innumerable submeasurements that generate concurrently from splitting a single measurement. By employing the spatial oversampling techniques, many SPADs are capable of determining a similar incident individually, lowering the average dead time by using numerous detectors. The disintegration of the huge format imaging device to a grid of individual sequence is vital for maintaining surplus information flow. In the traditional silicon photomultipliers, the device generates various electrical analog vibrations; on the other hand, the photonic elements suggested in the scheme will produce enormous digital information.

The latest improved interchip information transmission will be the criteria for effective data transfer, in an actual network transmission mode. The photonic information will be placed in the network and will be utilized upon necessity.


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