VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - May 9, 2007) - Zecotek Medical Systems Inc. (TSX VENTURE:ZMS)(FRANKFURT:W1I) today announced test results for its new-generation solid-state photo detector, designated the surface Micro-pixel Avalanche Photo Diode (MAPD), demonstrated superior performance to existing photo multiplier tubes (PMT's). This newest generation of silicon-based photon counters offers the performance of PMT's in a compact and cost effective solid-state device.
"The testing completed by the University of Washington validates that our MAPD improves performance with significantly less cost associated with current PMT's in PET (positron emission tomography) and other detection applications," said Dr. A.F. Zerrouk, Chairman, President, and CEO of Zecotek Medical Systems. "The test results also confirm Zecotek's clear lead in the development of this key enabling technology for next-generation medical and industrial imaging devices. Furthermore, this represents a significant milestone in our program to develop integrated PET-MRI products."
The conclusive test results demonstrate that Zecotek's MAPD, in combination with its patented LFS scintillation crystal, outperform current PMT's in critical imaging parameters. The testing was conducted by the University of Washington's Prof. Tom Lewellen, a leading authority on positron emission tomography (PET).
"The combination of Zecotek's MAPD and LFS crystals resulted in an equal to or greater than overall signal gain and an improved energy resolution than our labs have been able to obtain with PMT's and standard commercial crystals," said Prof. Tom Lewellen of the University of Washington. "These superior capabilities will be fully utilized in the next-generation of PET-MRI scanner systems currently being developed in our laboratory."
The compact size of the MAPD is a key advantage as it will allow scanning devices to be manufactured with direct coupling of individual crystals to a single independent photo detector. A PET scanner can contain up to 40,000 individual crystals and the size of PMT is a limiting factor to overall performance. The direct coupling of MAPD to LFS crystals is extremely important to the future development of very high resolution detector designs that have not been possible due to the inability of PMT devices to provide sensors on the fine pitch required and due to the cost of existing photo detector technologies. The use of MAPD array devices with very fine pitch is a cornerstone of the depth-of-interaction, high spatial resolution detectors for both pre-clinical stand-alone PET scanners and for PET-MRI systems.
Zecotek's solid-state photon counters have been designed to offer significant cost and performance advantages over the current vacuum tube based Photo Multiplier Tubes (PMT). PMT based photo-detection devices form a major cost component in the US$1 billion market for PET and PET-CT scanners, representing approximately one-third of the cost of each unit. Existing PMT's are also key components of medical inspection devices used in blood analysis and DNA sequencing. Additional non-medical applications include: gamma ray detectors for homeland security, environmental monitoring, industrial control systems, robotics, biomedical testing, navigation and guidance systems, laser radars and high-energy physics.
Production of Zecotek's photon counters is expected to begin in Q2 of this calendar year with South East Asia's highly competitive microelectronics wafer fabricators.
Zecotek Medical Systems (TSX VENTURE:ZMS)(FRANKFURT:W1I) is a bio-photonics technology company developing high-performance crystals, photo detectors, medical lasers, optical imaging and 3D display technologies for commercial applications in the medical diagnostics and high-tech industry. Founded in 2003, the company has three distinct operating divisions: medical imaging, medical lasers and 3D display and labs located in Canada, Singapore and Russia. Zecotek commercializes its novel, patented and patent-pending bio-photonic technologies directly and through strategic alliances and joint ventures with multinational OEMs, distributors and other industry leaders.
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