PURPOSE: Radio Guided Surgery (RGS) is a technique that helps the surgeon to achieve an as complete as possible tumor resection, thanks to the intraoperative detection of particles emitted by a radio tracer that bounds to tumoral cells. In the last years, a novel approach to this technique has been proposed that, exploiting β- emitting radio tracers, overtakes some limitations of established γ-RGS. In this context, a first prototype of an intraoperative β particle detector, based on a high light yield and low density organic scintillator, has been developed and characterised on pure β- emitters, like 90Y. The demonstrated very high efficiency to β- particles, together with the remarkable transparency to photons, suggested the possibility to use this detector also with β+ emitting sources, that have plenty of applications in nuclear medicine. In this paper, we present upgrades and optimisations performed to the detector to reveal such particles.
METHODS: Laboratory measurement have been performed on liquid Ga68 source, and were used to validate and tune a Monte Carlo simulation.
RESULTS: The upgraded detector has an ~80% efficiency to electrons above ~110keV, reaching a plateau value of ~95%. At the same time, the probe is substantially transparent to photons below ~200keV, reaching a plateau value of ~3%.
CONCLUSIONS: The new prototype seems to have promising characteristics to perform RGS also with β+ emitting isotopes.