Small Area Imaging Gamma Camera (SAI-GC)
In collaboration with medical doctors, researchers have created a breakthrough technology to invent a portable, cost-effective and high resolution Gamma Camera system – SAI-GC – for small organ imaging including non-invasive cancer imaging.
The gamma camera is an imaging technique used to carry out functional scans of the mammary, thyroid, kidneys and bone, to identify any defects. Gamma scan is a diagnostic test in nuclear medicine, where radioisotopes are attached to drugs that travel internally to a specific organ or tissue, and the emitted gamma radiation is captured by gamma cameras to form images, a process similar to the capture of x-ray images, but with the additional advantage of providing the functional information of the organ.
This project of ₹92 lakhs, was funded by Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. The prototype has passed the requirements with clinical validation on all the 32 subjects that were part of the study.
Clinical trials in thyroid scanning were conducted at Healthcare Global Enterprises (HCG) Ltd., a healthcare organization headquartered in Bangalore specializing in Cancer imaging, with positive results.
When it comes to market, this device (which offers superior imaging capabilities) will cost almost 8-10 times less than existing large field of view gamma cameras. It will help in identifying ailments related to thyroid, mammary glands, bone hotspots, sentinel lymph node abnormalities and excision for millions of people who currently cannot afford such medical care. The invention is covered by a patent.
In India alone, it is estimated that 42 million people suffer from thyroid diseases. Early diagnosis and treatment remain the cornerstone of medical management.
Based on the results of this successful project, an additional project of about ₹1.08 crores has been granted by the Dept. of Atomic Energy, Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (DAE-BRNS), Govt. of India to the research group of faculty members of the Dept. of Physics, to make a fully handheld product for Sentinel Lymph Node Navigation surgery. The Proposed instrument will aid the surgeon in the operation theatre.