Radiotracer Based Molecular Imaging (MRTY5109)


This unit of study explores the principles and methods that underpin two key molecular imaging techniques based on the radioactive tracer principle: single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET). Topics covered include the radioactive tracer principle, radioisotope production and decay, radiation transport in tissue, radiation detection, PET and SPECT instrumentation, tomographic reconstruction and an introduction to tracer kinetic modelling. On completion of this unit, students will have a thorough understanding of the imaging chain as it relates to PET and SPECT, starting with the emission of radiation in the body, leading to its external detection and, finally, a reconstructed image of the radioactive tracer distribution in the body. The factors affecting the accuracy and noise properties of molecular images will be explored. Students will also have an appreciation of how to use these imaging technologies to exploit the properties of the radioactive tracer principle and make estimates of important physiological parameters.

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Further unit of study information


Guided and independent learning with e-learning support and tutorials


On-line quiz (15%), on-line discussion (10%) group presentation (25%), 1x1.5 hr exam (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.