he 2010 Frost & Sullivan European Enabling Technology Award in hybrid scanners is presented to SensL Technologies Ltd, Ireland for its solid state silicon photomultiplier (SPM) detectors for PET-MRI scanners.

“SensL’s SPM technology has emerged as an enabling and disruptive technology which is allowing the development of new products and new imaging modalities which were not possible before with vacuum tube based photomultiplier tubes (PMTs),” notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Sangeetha Prabakar. “Its low cost and superior performance is giving it the edge over PMTs and other solid state detectors such as avalanche photo diodes (APDs) and Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) detectors.”

SensL’s SPM technology, when deployed in the making of PET-MRI scanners, is set to transform the market for hybrid scanners. Firstly, the unrivalled SPM technology and readout electronics could replace the vacuum-tube-based PMTs, thereby leading to the development of next generation, scalable hybrid systems for full body imaging. Secondly, its small form factor and compactness may lead towards the development of commercial PET-MRI systems dedicated to brain imaging, with minimal requirement of electronics for readout and coincidence correction.

“Moreover, the compact detectors with flexible pixel design, when coupled with high-resolution systems, may allow the development of preclinical PET-MRI systems for small animal imaging,” adds Prabakar. “Finally the low-cost and compact SPM array is also ideally suited for developing organ specific PET-MRI systems as it can be packaged in a variety of formats suitable for a desired application.”

As the SPM arrays enable new detector geometries, have superior compatibility with MRI and provide faster response and higher gain than APDs, the technology is all set to become the preferred choice not only for PET-MRI, but also for confocal microscopy, cytometry, and spectroscopy within the biomedical sector. At the same time, its technical strengths are poised to support SensL’s SPM deployment by other sectors such as high energy physics, radiation detection, LIDAR imaging, oil well logging, homeland security systems, laboratory instrumentation and space exploration.

“SensL has broken through the vacuum tube PMT price barrier through the use of high volume, semiconductor fabrication facilities which allow a degree of performance, uniformity and costs not possible in vacuum tube manufacturing or with technology like APD or CZT detectors,” states Carl Jackson. “Thus, by leveraging its manufacturing IP, SensL has developed a cost-effective detector technology which is poised for rapid and widespread market acceptance.”

The flexibility and cost effective nature of SensL’s solid-state SPM technology has broken the barriers for adoption and due to these benefits, customers are increasingly accepting SensL as their solution provider. In the field of medical imaging, SensL’s SPM is being adopted for whole body PET/CT, organ specific PET/CT, PET-MRI and PET-TOF. In addition, SPM technology is projected to penetrate CT and SPECT markets, while continuing to provide cost-effective solutions to the medical imaging marketplace.

Each year, this Award is presented to the company that has excelled in the following criteria: enables creation of new products and new applications, enhances current products, potential for market acceptance and breadth of access to technology.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About SensL Technologies Ltd
SensL is a world leading firm that specializes in designing and manufacturing silicon photomultipliers (SPMs) for medical, security, defence and analytical applications. The products that the company offers include single element SPMs, large area position sensitive matrices, photon detector modules, timing and coincidence products and a range of support readout electronics. SensLs’ products offer multiple benefits such as high uniformity, compatibility, adaptability, sensitivity, portability and flexibility and hence are ideally suited for applications such as biosensors, medical diagnostics, laboratory instrumentation, environmental monitoring and space exploration. SensL’s products have been used in leading research at world class institutions such as Stanford University, Samsung Medical Center and the European Space Agency as well as all of the leading OEMs in the medical imaging and biodiagnostics industries.

Carl Jackson is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of SensL.

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