Photomultiplier firm Hamamatsu pursues PET R&D with new camera

October 28, 1998

PET unit installed at private hospital in HawaiiJapanese photomultiplier tube supplier Hamamatsu Photonics is pursuing the research side of positron emission tomography with a new PET camera the company has installed at an imaging center in

PET unit installed at private hospital in Hawaii

Japanese photomultiplier tube supplier Hamamatsu Photonics is pursuing the research side of positron emission tomography with a new PET camera the company has installed at an imaging center in Hawaii. Hamamatsu has received Food and Drug Administration clearance for the camera, called SHR-22000, but at present has no plans for a commercial rollout of the system.

Hamamatsu introduced the camera at a September press conference in conjunction with Queen’s Medical Center of Honolulu. Hamamatsu and the hospital are collaborating in the operation of Queen’s PET Imaging Center, which is the first PET imaging facility in Hawaii. The Hamamatsu camera is one of only two produced by the company; the second is in Japan.

The 32-ring camera uses 22,000 detectors to produce images with spatial resolution in the 3.5-mm range. The camera’s rings allow for a 20-cm field-of-view. Hamamatsu worked with Hitachi on the scanner: Hamamatsu designed the unit, and Hitachi built it (SCAN 5/27/98). Hitachi is working to refine software for the camera and develop an image processing workstation.

Hamamatsu, of Hamamatsu, Japan, was established in 1953 and develops and manufactures photomultiplier tube technology that it supplies to gamma camera OEMs. The firm is not planning to begin a market push for its scanner, but will focus instead on research, particularly in the field of brain studies, according to Whit Athey, an attorney with C.L. McIntosh & Associates in Washington, DC. Athey is the author of Hamamatsu’s 510(k) application.

“My understanding is that at least initially (the company) is not planning to make a commercial product, since there’s not much demand for PET,” Athey said. “They’re more interested in research.”

Queen’s Medical Center plans to do brain studies with the camera, as well as other investigation into alternative uses for PET imaging. Research scans are funded by private money provided by the hospital and Hamamatsu.

Related Content:

Facility Management