GATE is a project for the simulation of preclinical and clinical scans in emission tomography, transmission tomography and radiation therapy.
Monte Carlo simulation is an essential tool in emission tomography to assist in the design of new medical imaging devices, assess new implementations of image reconstruction algorithms and/or scatter correction techniques, and optimise scan protocols. Although dedicated Monte Carlo codes have been developed for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and for Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT), these tools suffer from a variety of drawbacks and limitations in terms of validation, accuracy, and/or support (Buvat). On the other hand, accurate and versatile simulation codes such asGEANT3 (G3), EGS4, MCNP, and GEANT4 have been written for high energy physics. They all include well-validated physics models, geometry modeling tools, and efficient visualization utilities. However these packages are quite complex and necessitate a steep learning curve.
GATE was developed within the OpenGATE Collaboration with the objective to provide the academic community with a free software, general-purpose, GEANT4-based simulation platform for emission tomography. The collaboration currently includes 21 laboratories fully dedicated to the task of improving, documenting, and testing GATE thoroughly against most of the imaging systems commercially available in PET and SPECT (Staelens, Lazaro).
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