The first PET tomograph manufactured in Argentina

The first PET tomograph manufactured in Argentina

The first PET tomograph (Positron Emission Tomography) manufactured in Argentina will give accurate diagnoses of cancer and allow the early detection of heart problems and brain disorders.

Argentinean scientists and engineers finished manufacturing the first PET developed and made entirely in the country.

The specialists are part of the Digital Systems and Robotics Group of the Ezeiza Atomic Center, of the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA).

The equipment was taken to the Clinical Hospital of the City of Buenos Aires.

It will operate in a specially conditioned space within the Nuclear Medicine Service of the health center, which belongs to the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

Claudio Verrastro, head of the Division of Digital Systems and Robotics of the CNEA, explained that the next step will be to ask the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN) the authorization to work with radiopharmaceuticals and, subsequently, a stage of characterization of the equipment will begin. Functional point of view that will  allow homologation for its use in patients .

As published by the National Atomic Energy Commission , the AR-PET tomograph will obtain anatomical and functional images of the human body in a non-invasive way,  providing an accurate diagnosis of certain diseases such as cancer , heart problems and brain disorders.

The CNEA explained, in addition, that it  works wirelessly  and with a consumption of 12 volts.

This allows the use of batteries with a lower environmental impact. It can also operate with 2 of its 6 main components, which makes it easier for the equipment to be repaired without interruptions in the provision of its services.

“This is possible thanks to the fact that their heads (those responsible for taking images) are of continuous rotation. For this, each photomultiplier of the equipment has its own computer dedicated to data processing. These heads were built with scintillation crystals arranged in a hexagonal shape, which allows to obtain a wide field of vision and facilitates that they can be removed, repaired and replaced without the scanner out of service, “they added.

The project was financed with resources from the national treasury and initially had the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Currently, only  3 companies around the world  are engaged in marketing these instruments. Its market value is over US $ 1 million.


 What is a PET for?

It is a highly complex study that  allows obtaining anatomical and functional images  of the human body, providing an accurate diagnosis of certain diseases such as cancer, heart problems and brain disorders.

It can detect  very small injuries  with great precision.

Positron Emission Tomography, better known as PET for its acronym in English, is a test that allows high-resolution images of organs and tissues of the body from a radioactive substance called a marker, in order to detect a pathology or injury.

Unlike other complex studies such as magnetic resonance and computed tomography, a PET detects the metabolic activity of cells and shows how organs and tissues are functioning. This allows the  early detection of pathological processes , even  before the first symptoms  of the disease manifest , since physiological changes usually precede the anatomical changes.

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.