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Kick Off Of Spectral Photon Counting CT European Project: SPCCT

Photon counting Spectral CT is a new and promising imaging modality based on conventional CT concept with energy resolving detector technology. A 4 year collaborative European Project led by the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, was selected and granted (6.4m€) under the “Horizon 2020” European Research and Innovation program. The Spectral Photon counting CT (SPCCT) project involves 11 European partners and will last 48 months from January 16 till December 2019.

Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 announces today the launch of the SPCCT project, a H2020 funded collaborative project aiming to develop a new generation of spectral scanner photon counting. The Computed Tomography is the most widely used imaging method in the world and has transformed patients care. Photon counting Spectral CT is a new imaging modality based on conventional CT concept with energy resolving detector technology. The additional spectral information can be used for material separation and can deliver additional, new contrast with clinically relevant new information. The most important novel capability of Spectral CT is K-Edge imaging for selective and quantitative detection of specific elements including iodine, gold, bismuth, gadolinium, Yttrium, etc. The full potential of Spectral CT can be exploited in combination with targeted contrast materials carrying a payload with a compatible K-edge.

Due to its high potential and the high medical unmet needs, a 4-year European Project led by the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, was funded under the “Horizon 2020” European Research and Innovation program (6.4 m€) from January 2016 till December 2019, for Spectral Photon counting CT (SPCCT) development. SPCCT project benefits from the past results obtained under the French program of Future Investments for pre-clinical phase - the national tender "Health Infrastructure", funded by the National Research Agency (ANR) and coordinated by the General Commission for Investment (CGI), acknowledged and granted (1.7 m€) Lyon as one of the six clusters of France Life Imaging (FLI).

Research projects for a fully functional Spectral CT acquisition system are still in progress, including not only detector developments and data processing, but also energy dependent image reconstruction, development of target specific contrast agents dedicated to a large spectrum of application particularly in neurology, cardiovascular and imaging in small animals for the first two years and in larger animal and in humans for the last two years of the project. This will prepare the evolution of this technology towards non-radioactive intrinsically simultaneous anatomo-molecular imaging with CT in humans. The objective is to succeed in developing technically applied clinically, and validate a medical and economic perspective a new generation of spectral scanner photon counting. The expected gains for both patients and the health system are considerable, cardiology and neurovascular diseases representing over 20% of health costs.

This multidisciplinary project is at the interface between medicine, biology, and high technology. It builds on the Lyon scientific tissue, involving professors and physicians from Hospices Civils de Lyon and Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL) (radiologists, cardiologists, neurologists), chemists, (for the development of tracers) engineers and physicists working at UCBL, INSA, CNRS, INSERM and Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and local SMEs Mathym and Voxcan. This  unique technological and scientific environment and expertise, combined with the concentration of innovative imaging means of the platform of CERMEP (multimodal possibilities of technology validation) is reinforced and complemented by academic and industrial European and international partners involved in this project, namely Erasmus University of Rotterdam, (The Netherlands), University of Turin (Italy), King’s College of London (UK), Clinique Universitaire Saint-Luc - (Belgium), Philips Medical Systems Technologies (Israel), Philips Research (Germany) and Bracco (Italy).
Published on the January 6, 2016 Updated on the January 26, 2016