Safir-i: Design and performance of a high-rate preclinical pet insert for mri

Pascal Bebié*, Robert Becker, Volker Commichau, Jan Debus, Günther Dissertori, Lubomir Djambazov, Afroditi Eleftheriou, Jannis Fischer, Peter Fischer, Mikiko Ito, Parisa Khateri, Werner Lustermann, Christian Ritzer, Michael Ritzert, Ulf Röser, Charalampos Tsoumpas, Geoffrey Warnock, Bruno Weber, Matthias T. Wyss, Agnieszka Zagozdzinska-Bochenek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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(1) Background: Small Animal Fast Insert for MRI detector I (SAFIR-I) is a preclinical Positron Emission Tomography (PET) insert for the Bruker BioSpec 70/30 Ultra Shield Refrigerated (USR) preclinical 7 T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system. It is designed explicitly for high-rate kinetic studies in mice and rats with injected activities reaching 500 MBq, enabling truly simultaneous quantitative PET and Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging with time frames of a few seconds in length. (2) Methods: SAFIR-I has an axial field of view of 54.2 mm and an inner diameter of 114 mm. It employs Lutetium Yttrium OxyorthoSilicate (LYSO) crystals and Multi Pixel Photon Counter (MPPC) arrays. The Position-Energy-Timing Application Specific Integrated Circuit, version 6, Single Ended (PETA6SE) digitizes the MPPC signals and provides time stamps and energy information. (3) Results: SAFIR-I is MR-compatible. The system’s Coincidence Resolving Time (CRT) and energy resolution are between (209.0 ± 0.3) ps and (12.41 ± 0.02) % Full Width at Half Maximum (FWHM) at low activity and (326.89 ± 0.12) ps and (20.630 ± 0.011) % FWHM at 550 MBq, respectively. The peak sensitivity is ∼1.6 %. The excellent performance facilitated the successful execution of first in vivo rat studies beyond 300 MBq. Based on features visible in the acquired images, we estimate the spatial resolution to be ∼2 mm in the center of the Field Of View (FOV). (4) Conclusion: The SAFIR-I PET insert provides excellent performance, permitting simultaneous in vivo small animal PET/MR image acquisitions with time frames of a few seconds in length at activities of up to 500 MBq.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7037
Number of pages27
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1-Nov-2021
Externally publishedYes


  • 5 s time frames
  • Dynamic PET/MR imaging
  • High frame rates
  • MRI
  • PET detector
  • PET insert
  • Preclinical PET/MRI
  • Temporal resolution


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