National Pride as Argentine scientists design and build their own PET scanner

Photo courtesy of YouTube CNEA

Argentinian scientists have made history by designing and building the country’s first PET scanner.

The Digital and Robotic Systems Group of the Ezeiza Atomic Centre (CAE) headed by engineer Claudio Verrastro completed the construction of the medical device in a week, according to the National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA).

Hoy terminó el armado de nuestro #ARPET en el Hospital de Clínicas, el 1er tomógrafo desarrollado y fabricado en 🇦🇷👇🏼 https://t.co/cg2m3neacn pic.twitter.com/8dkVTDwTOn

— CNEA ARGENTINA (@CNEA_Arg) 20 de julio de 2018

The device, financed by the National Bank of Investment Projects (BAPIN), can obtain anatomical and functional images of the human body in a non-invasive way, helping doctors provide precise and early diagnoses of illnesses such as cancer, cardiac problems and brain problems.

The Argentine scanner has distinctive characteristics which set it apart from other models. It can function wirelessly, and with a low-energy consumption of 12 volts, which allows it to use batteries with lower environmental impact than traditional models. Additionally it can operate with only two of its six principal components, which allows the device to be repaired while still in use.

The CNEA also noted that it is a great advancement for national technology, as there is no other device capable of measuring cellular metabolism in a non-invasive way.

Currently there are only three companies in the world that commercialise PET scanners, which have a market value higher than US$1 million. It’s for this reason that, until now, the majority of the PET scanners in the country are found in private medicine clinics. With the creation of an Argentine model, it is hoped that these devices will soon be extended to state hospitals across the country.

Currently the device needs a final revision and to acquire the necessary licences before it can be put to use.

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