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Group photo 2018
The proposed project aims at the elaboration of novel cancer staging indicators based on the properties of positronium atoms formed in the human body during the PET diagnosis and the elaboration of the method for in vivo imaging of these indicators. The basis of the proposed research constitutes the Jagiellonian Positron Emission Tomograph (J-PET) whose novelty lies in employing long strips of plastic scintillators instead of small size crystals as detectors of annihilation photons. We will explore new possibilities opened by the J-PET tomograph enabling measurement of the lifetime and production probability of positronium atoms formed copiously inside human body during the routine PET imaging. This fact was never used so far in the medical diagnosis. The probability of creation and lifetime of an ortho-positronium atom depend strongly on the size of the free volumes between molecules and thus they are related to the nanomorphology of cells and may be used as cancer staging indicators.