ETH Zurich Foundation, Positrigo


Max Ahnen & Jannis Fischer

Earlier diagnosis of dementia

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is an imaging method in nuclear medicine. It is mainly used to detect cancer, but also for neurological and cardiovascular diseases. PET scanners can help to diagnose certain neurological health conditions 10-20 years before doctors are able to do so by assessing the patient’s physical symptoms.

PET scanners are currently the most expensive type of imaging equipment used in modern clinics, and many hospitals are unable to afford them. A conventional scanner takes up around 15 square metres of floor space and costs between 1.5 and 5.5 million Swiss francs.

At ETH Zurich’s Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Ahnen and Fischer are working to improve this situation. They are building a brain scanner that is ten times less expensive and much smaller than current models.

Because of its size, it is much more mobile than conventional machines, and is therefore suitable for use not only in big hospitals, but also in smaller clinics in South America, Asia, or Africa.

Not only does the Brain PET technology cost less, it is also cheaper to use. The higher the frequency of use, the lower the cost of the radioactive tracer substances.

More on Positrigo in the ETH news and on their website.