The accuracy of quantitative gated single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) (QGS) and the potential limitations for estimation of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) have been extensively evaluated. However, few studies have focused on the serial variability of QGS. This study was conducted to assess the serial variability of QGS for determination of LVEF between 2 sequential technetium 99m sestamibi-gated SPECT acquisitions at rest in both healthy and unhealthy subjects. The study population consisted of 2 groups: group I included 21 volunteers with a low likelihood of CAD, and group II included 22 consecutive patients with documented CAD. Both groups underwent serial SPECT imaging. The overall correlation between sequential images was high (r = 0.94, SEE = 5.3%), and the mean serial variability of LVEF was 5.15% +/- 3.51%. Serial variability was lower for images with high counts (3.45% +/- 3.23%) than for images with low counts (6.85% +/- 3.77%). The mean serial variability was not different between normal and abnormal high-dose images (3.0% +/- 1.56% vs 3.9% +/- 2.77%). However, mean serial variability for images derived from abnormal low-dose images was significantly greater than that derived from normal low-dose images (9.6% +/- 2.22% vs 3.1% +/- 2.12%, P
New applications such as high-datarate, photon-starved, free-space optical communications require photon counting at flux rates into gigaphoton-per-second regimes coupled with subnanosecond timing accuracy. Current single-photon detectors that are capable of handling such operating conditions are designed in an array format and produce output pulses that span multiple sample times. In order to discern one pulse from another and not to overcount the number of incoming photons, a detection algorithm must be applied to the sampled detector output pulses. As flux rates increase, the ability to implement such a detection algorithm becomes difficult within a digital processor that may reside within a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). Systems have been developed and implemented to both characterize gigahertz bandwidth single-photon detectors, as well as process photon count signals at rates into gigaphotons per second in order to implement communications links at SCPPM (serial concatenated pulse position modulation) encoded data rates exceeding 100 megabits per second with efficiencies greater than two bits per detected photon. A hardware edge-detection algorithm and corresponding signal combining and deserialization hardware were developed to meet these requirements at sample rates up to 10 GHz. The photon discriminator deserializer hardware board accepts four inputs, which allows for the ability to take inputs from a quadphoton counting detector, to support requirements for optical tracking with a reduced number of hardware components. The four inputs are hardware leading-edge detected independently. After leading-edge detection, the resultant samples are ORed together prior to deserialization. The deserialization is performed to reduce the rate at which data is passed to a digital signal processor, perhaps residing within an FPGA. The hardware implements four separate analog inputs that are connected through RF connectors. Each analog input is fed to a high-speed 1
Current state of the art high resolution counting modules, specifically designed for high timing resolution applications, are largely based on a computer card format. This has tended to result in a costly solution that is restricted to the computer it resides in. We describe a four channel timing module that interfaces to a computer via a USB port and operates with a resolution of less than 100 picoseconds. The core design of the system is an advanced field programmable gate array (FPGA) interfacing to a precision time interval measurement module, mass memory block and a high speed USB 2.0 serial data port. The FPGA design allows the module to operate in a number of modes allowing both continuous recording of photon events (time-tagging) and repetitive time binning. In time-tag mode the system reports, for each photon event, the high resolution time along with the chronological time (macro time) and the channel ID. The time-tags are uploaded in real time to a host computer via a high speed USB port allowing continuous storage to computer memory of up to 4 millions photons per second. In time-bin mode, binning is carried out with count rates up to 10 million photons per second. Each curve resides in a block of 128,000 time-bins each with a resolution programmable down to less than 100 picoseconds. Each bin has a limit of 65535 hits allowing autonomous curve recording until a bin reaches the maximum count or the system is commanded to halt. Due to the large memory storage, several curves/experiments can be stored in the system prior to uploading to the host computer for analysis. This makes this module ideal for integration into high timing resolution specific applications such as laser ranging and fluorescence lifetime imaging using techniques such as time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC).
Serial crystallography is an increasingly important approach to protein crystallography that exploits both X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) and synchrotron radiation. Serial crystallography recovers complete X-ray diffraction data by processing and merging diffraction images from thousands of randomly oriented non-uniform microcrystals, of which all observations are partial Bragg reflections. Random fluctuations in the XFEL pulse energy spectrum, variations in the size and shape of microcrystals, integrating over millions of weak partial observations and instabilities in the XFEL beam position lead to new types of experimental errors. The quality of Bragg intensity estimates deriving from serial crystallography is therefore contingent upon assumptions made while modeling these data. Here it is observed that serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) Bragg reflections do not follow a unimodal Gaussian distribution and it is recommended that an idealized assumption of single Gaussian peak profiles be relaxed to incorporate apparent asymmetries when processing SFX data. The phenomenon is illustrated by re-analyzing data collected from microcrystals of the Blastochloris viridis photosynthetic reaction center and comparing these intensity observations with conventional synchrotron data. The results show that skewness in the SFX observations captures the essence of the Wilson plot and an empirical treatment is suggested that can help to separate the diffraction Bragg intensity from the background. 2b1af7f3a8