SINGAPORE, March 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Zecotek Photonics Inc. (TSX-V: ZMS; Frankfurt: W1I.F, OTCPK: ZMSPF), a developer of leading-edge photonics technologies for industrial, healthcare and scientific markets, is pleased to announce that a major medical OEM based in China has selected Zecotek's patented lutetium fine silicate (LFS) scintillation crystals for a new line of high resolution positron emission tomography (PET) medical imaging devices. It is anticipated that the first high resolution PET medical imaging device using Zecotek's LFS crystals will be installed in a Shanghai hospital in July 2016.
"Having our patented LFS scintillation crystals selected as a standard for positron emission tomography by a major OEM is a significant milestone for our team and our Company," said Dr. A.F. Zerrouk, Chairman, President, and CEO of Zecotek Photonics Inc. "We have been working toward such an accomplishment since the inception of the Company and we are proud to have one of the top two OEMs in China officially adopt our crystals. With our crystal manufacturing partner based in Beijing and Chinese patents granted for LFS crystals, the LFS is the logical choice for the Chinese PET industry. All logistics are in place to complete the delivery of the crystals, and we are looking forward to forming a long term supply agreement and mutually beneficial partnership."
Zecotek Imaging Systems has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the medical OEM to purchase Lutetium Fine Silicate (LFS) scintillation crystals. The MOU contains a trigger leading to a contractual agreement. The trigger is subject to the successful delivery of the LFS crystals for the first PET scanner by the end of April 2016 and the dispatch of this first LFS based PET scanner to a clinic in Shanghai by early summer. Based on successful execution of the contract the OEM is projecting the installation of 200 LFS based PET scanners in hospitals and clinics across China over the next five years. For competitive reasons, the OEM has requested to remain anonymous until the contract is in effect.
Zecotek's LFS crystal enhancement program has shown substantial improvement resulting in a new version of the crystal: LFS-8. The LFS-8 is two times faster than the current LFS-3. OEMs using Zecotek's LFS-3 will be given priority to progress to LFS-8 for higher image resolution. Zecotek Imaging team is working closely with other major OEMs for the timely adoption of the LFS crystals and other key components.
As one of the world's fastest growing markets, China's medical scanning device industry represents a significant opportunity for Zecotek. China has experienced rapid economic growth, a growing middle class and an aging population, which have placed pressure on the Chinese government to increase investment in medical diagnostic equipment. Each PET scanning device is made up of scintillation crystals, photo detectors and a read out system and costs approximately $1,000,000 to manufacture. Scintillation crystals represent approximately 45 percent of the total production cost of a PET medical scanner. It is anticipate that Zecotek's other key components, solid-state MAPD/T photo detectors and the associated electronics, will be ready for full production by end of third quarter 2016, making up the other 35% of the cost of a PET scanner.
Zecotek's patented (US patent No. 7,132,060) LFS series of scintillation crystals cover a wide range of emission wavelengths which can be tailored to match the spectral sensitivity of various photo detectors including Zecotek's own solid-state MAPD/T photo detector arrays. The solid-state MAPD/T photo detectors offer significant performance-cost advantages over competing photomultiplier tubes (PMT) and other solid-state, silicon based photo detectors. Its low manufacturing cost, excellent timing resolution and photon detection efficiency are key characteristics for the new configurations of high resolution PET scanners.
The LFS scintillation crystals will be supplied by the Beijing Opto-Electronics Technology Company (BOET), a subsidiary of North-China Research Institute of Electronics-Optics an industry leader in growing, cutting, polishing and large scale production of scintillation crystals grown by the Czochralski method. Zecotek's manufacturing process permits the growth of very large-diameter boules with uniform properties and without cracking (a problem with many competing scintillation materials), resulting in high element output and lower unit costs.
Zecotek Photonics Inc (TSX-V: ZMS; Frankfurt: W1I; OTCPK: ZMSPF) is a photonics technology company developing high-performance scintillation crystals, photo detectors, positron emission tomography scanning technologies, 3D auto-stereoscopic displays, 3D metal printing, and lasers for applications in medical, high-tech and industrial sectors. Founded in 2004, Zecotek operates three divisions: Imaging Systems, Optronics Systems and 3D Display Systems with labs located in Canada, Korea, Russia, Singapore and U.S.A. The management team is focused on building shareholder value by commercializing over 50 patented and patent pending novel photonic technologies directly and through strategic alliances and joint ventures with leading industry partners including Hamamatsu Photonics (Japan), the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Switzerland), Beijing Opto-Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. (China), NuCare Medical Systems (South Korea), the University of Washington (United States), and National NanoFab Center (South Korea). For more information visit www.zecotek.com and follow @zecotek on Twitter.
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SOURCE Zecotek Photonics Inc.