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Work in progress

The Insert Consortium

The INSERT project is coordinated by Prof. Carlo Fiorini from the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioingeneering of the Polytechnic of Milan (Italy).


It comprises ten organisations, including both research organisations and private companies from six European countries.

The Consortium has been conceived to cover the necessary skills and expertise for instrument development, preclinical and clinical experimentation, and for the project horizontal activities such as dissemination and management.

Here below a description of the tasks assigned to each partner:


Politecnico di Milano, Milan (Italy)

It is responsible for the development of the gamma-ray detection modules, equipped with SDD photodetectors (from FBK), electronics, cooling, hybrids. It designs and produces the VLSI electronics for the readout of the detector signals, and will cooperate in the SPECT development, integration with MRI, qualification and will provide assistance during the experiments. Moreover, it coordinates the project and the technical development.


Mediso Orvosi Berendezes Fejleszto es Szerviz Kft. (Budapest, Hungary)

MEDISO is responsible for the development of the data acquisition electronics performing A/D conversion and digital signal processing and the design, manufacturing and integration of all components to build up both the pre-clinical and clinical SPECT/MRI prototype. MEDISO is also involved in the implementation of correction and image reconstruction algorithms and the performance characterization of the system with phantom studies and comparative measurements.


Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Trento, Italy)

FBK will take care of the development and production of the silicon detectors. In particular, INSERT requires the production of large area Silicon Drift Detectors having low leakage current and optimal light detection efficiency in the UV/blue part of the light spectrum. Furthermore, FBK will participate in the development of the integration procedure of the sensor to both the scintillator crystal as well as the electronics.


Nuclear Fields international B.V. (Vortum Mullem, The Netherlands )

Development and production of MRI-compatible collimators. Research in the materials and components to meet the requirements of MR- compatibility. Production of tools to be designed, purchased and manufactured for this production process. In agreement with the other project partners NUFI will design and manufacture several test collimators for the gamma detector to suit the purpose of this project.


MRI.TOOLS GmbH (Berlin, Germany)

MRI.TOOLS will provide expertise and services to test the mutual compatibility of the SPECT and the MRI systems. In particular MRI.TOOLS will focus on development of dedicated RF coils that are suitable for SPECT/MRI hybrid technology. Part of the RF coil accessory is also the animal handling hardware that has to be adjusted for the purpose of the INSERT project. Furthermore, MRI.TOOLS will perform experiments and conduct compatibility tests to examine materials, components and electronic function used for SPECT systems in the MR device.


University College London (London, United Kingdom)


Optimization of system design including collimator design, system calibration and image reconstruction, quantitative data analysis, system evaluation. Clinical application of the prototype to evaluate its role in the treatment of glioma.


Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (Milano, Italy)

Definition of the specifications of the integrated MRI/SPECT systems. Phantom image quality studies. MRI-SPECT imaging of brain tumours in rats. Integrated MRI/SPECT imaging studies in brain-tumour patients.


Università degli Studi di Milano (Milano, Italy)

It will set up a murine model of human glioma expressing the luciferase reporter gene under control of a constitutive or an hypoxia-inducible promoter. This model will be studied with already available MR and SPECT scanners and after its characterization the same variables will be concurrently acquired with the newly developed multimodal INSERT scanner. This model will be used to evaluate sensitivity and accuracy of the new instrument in revealing multiple variable at the same time by using different imaging approaches.


CROmed Kutató és Szolgáltató Központok Kft. (Budapest, Hungary)

Determination of SPECT/MRI subsystem specifications, comparative animal studies in SPECT and MRI applications for re-iteration into SPECT/MRI system development, quantitative imaging using own MRI/SPECT multimodal nanoparticles for BBB integrity, definition and use of the imaging arrays in U87 glioma models and somatostatin receptor imaging. Animal model validation using imaging, development of targeted nanoparticles specially for the purposes of simultaneous SPECT/MRI imaging, external radiation therapy experiments for rodent glioma models, integration of pre-clinical data for clinical therapy study planning.


CFc s.r.l (Milano, Italy)

CFc will lead the Project Dissemination Office and take care of coordinating and harmonizing the project image and dissemination contents and tools at the European level. CFc will therefore take care of the creation and update of the dissemination plan, collection of periodic data/information on dissemination/exploitation activities, the creation of the project website, the creation of common dissemination tools (i.e. logo, leaflets, flyers and brochures etc.). It is also involved with a minor role in the context of the management activities, in particular in supporting the coordinator in specific tasks connected to the reporting activities, such as the gathering of the contributions from partners, in the editing of the draft periodic reports, in helping partners in completing the official reporting templates and reminding deliverable deadlines to partners and in maintaining the Consortium Agreement.