SU-E-E-06: Teaching About the Gamma Camera and Ultrasound Imaging




Instructional modules on applications of physics in medicine are being developed. The target audience consists of students who have had an introductory undergraduate physics course. This presentation will concentrate on an active learning approach to teach the principles of the gamma camera. There will also be a description of an apparatus to teach ultrasound imaging.


Since a real gamma camera is not feasible in the undergraduate classroom, we have developed two types of optical apparatus that teach the main principles. To understand the collimator, LEDS mimic gamma emitters in the body, and the photons pass through an array of tubes. The distance, spacing, diameter, and length of the tubes can be varied to understand the effect upon the resolution of the image. To determine the positions of the gamma emitters, a second apparatus uses a movable green laser, fluorescent plastic in lieu of the scintillation crystal, acrylic rods that mimic the PMTs, and a photodetector to measure the intensity. The position of the laser is calculated with a centroid algorithm.To teach the principles of ultrasound imaging, we are using the sound head and pulser box of an educational product, variable gain amplifier, rotation table, digital oscilloscope, Matlab software, and phantoms.


Gamma camera curriculum materials have been implemented in the classroom at Loyola in 2014 and 2015. Written work shows good knowledge retention and a more complete understanding of the material. Preliminary ultrasound imaging materials were run in 2015.


Active learning methods add another dimension to descriptions in textbooks and are effective in keeping the students engaged during class time. The teaching apparatus for the gamma camera and ultrasound imaging can be expanded to include more cases, and could potentially improve students’ understanding of artifacts and distortions in the images.