Positron, a molecular imaging company specializing in the field of nuclear cardiology, has received two US patents for its proprietary quantum photodetectors that are capable of counting single photons - the basic quantum units of light.
The quantum detector, a replacement to photomultiplier tubes, has potential industry-wide applications in medical imaging, especially in Positron emission tomography (PET), as well as possible broader implications in other key sectors such as homeland security and nuclear physics, the company said.
Positron CEO Patrick Rooney said they made a conscious decision several years ago to place a particular focus on technologies that may impact the future of the industry.
"We believe that our proprietary quantum detector is one of these technologies that will position Positron for future technological advancements," Rooney said
The first patent describes a quantum photodetector (USP 7,800,070), a readout system to process the signal and imaging apparatus that can be built with these detectors.
The second patent covers a quantum detector array with binary quantum sensor elements (USP 7,825,384).
The binary nature of the quantum sensor elements makes the detector digital and simplifies data processing which can be integrated on the same semiconductor substrate.
The technology provides a completely digital sensors-readout system-on-chip with characteristics of sensitivity and offers a new perspective in the development of medical imaging and radiation detection systems.
The compact, low-cost photodetectors may reduce the cost of future PET scanners while improving spatial resolution and portability.