NIU is participating with proton therapy facilities in California and Illinois on the development of a next generation device for proton radiology (2D images) and proton tomography (3D images). These can give additional information to normal CT scans (which use photons) and MRIs. Please contact faculty George Coutrakon for more details.
Proton Radiology and Computed Tomography
Proton radiography will utilize the proton beam prior to a patient undergoing proton radiation therapy to verify the treament plant that has been earlier worked out by, for example, a CAT scan. Proton computed tomography (pCT) can be substituted for a X-ray CT scan and has the promise of both providing more accurate imaging and reducing the dose a partient receives during imaging. Both radiology and imaging require that the proton direction is measured before and after the patient, and that the energy loos of the proton travelling through the patient is measured, usually by a calorimeter.
NIU has partcipated in builing two prototype devices. The first (in the 2008 poster) used silicon strips but was limited by proton rate. A new device is currently being built using scintillating fiber and a scintillator-based calorimeter, both read out by silicon photodetectors, and should be collecting data later in 2013.