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Title: Technical Note: Immunohistochemical evaluation of mouse brain irradiation targeting accuracy with 3D-printed immobilization device

Purpose: Small animal immobilization devices facilitate positioning of animals for reproducible imaging and accurate focal radiation therapy. In this study, the authors demonstrate the use of three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to fabricate a custom-designed mouse head restraint. The authors evaluate the accuracy of this device for the purpose of mouse brain irradiation. Methods: A mouse head holder was designed for a microCT couch using CAD software and printed in an acrylic based material. Ten mice received half-brain radiation while positioned in the 3D-printed head holder. Animal placement was achieved using on-board image guidance and computerized asymmetric collimators. To evaluate the precision of beam localization for half-brain irradiation, mice were sacrificed approximately 30 min after treatment and brain sections were stained for γ-H2AX, a marker for DNA breaks. The distance and angle of the γ-H2AX radiation beam border to longitudinal fissure were measured on histological samples. Animals were monitored for any possible trauma from the device. Results: Visualization of the radiation beam on ex vivo brain sections with γ-H2AX immunohistochemical staining showed a sharp radiation field within the tissue. Measurements showed a mean irradiation targeting error of 0.14 ± 0.09 mm (standard deviation). Rotation between the beam axis and mouse headmore » was 1.2° ± 1.0° (standard deviation). The immobilization device was easily adjusted to accommodate different sizes of mice. No signs of trauma to the mice were observed from the use of tooth block and ear bars. Conclusions: The authors designed and built a novel 3D-printed mouse head holder with many desired features for accurate and reproducible radiation targeting. The 3D printing technology was found to be practical and economical for producing a small animal imaging and radiation restraint device and allows for customization for study specific needs.« less
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  1. Department of Medical Biophysics, The University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street, London, Ontario N6A 3K7 (Canada)
  2. Department of Biochemistry, The University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street, London, Ontario N6A 3K7 (Canada)
  3. (Canada)
  4. Imaging Research Laboratories, Robarts Research Institute, 100 Perth Drive, London, Ontario N6A 5K8 (Canada)
  5. Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street, London, Ontario N6A 3K7 (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: (c) 2015 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States