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Zatcepin, Artem; Pizzichemi, Marco; Polesel, Andrea; Paganoni, Marco; Auffray, Etiennette; Ziegler, Sibylle; Omidvari, Negar (2020): Improving depth-of-interaction resolution in pixellated PET detectors using neural networks. In: Physics in Medicine and Biology, Vol. 65, No. 17, 175017
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Parallax error is a common issue in high-resolution preclinical positron emission tomography (PET) scanners as well as in clinical scanners that have a long axial field of view (FOV), which increases estimation uncertainty of the annihilation position and therefore degrades the spatial resolution. A way to address this issue is depth-of-interaction (DOI) estimation. In this work we propose two machine learning-based algorithms, a dense and a convolutional neural network (NN), as well as a multiple linear regression (MLR)-based method to estimate DOI in depolished PET detector arrays with single-sided readout. The algorithms were tested on an 8x 8 array of 1.53x 1.53x 15 mm(3)crystals and a 4x 4 array of 3.1x 3.1x 15 mm(3)crystals, both made of Ce:LYSO scintillators and coupled to a 4x 4 array of 3x 3 mm(3)silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs). Using the conventional linear DOI estimation method resulted in an average DOI resolution of 3.76 mm and 3.51 mm FWHM for the 8x 8 and the 4x 4 arrays, respectively. Application of MLR outperformed the conventional method with average DOI resolutions of 3.25 mm and 3.33 mm FWHM, respectively. Using the machine learning approaches further improved the DOI resolution, to an average DOI resolution of 2.99 mm and 3.14 mm FWHM, respectively, and additionally improved the uniformity of the DOI resolution in both arrays. Lastly, preliminary results obtained by using only a section of the crystal array for training showed that the NN-based methods could be used to reduce the number of calibration steps required for each detector array.