skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Development and characterization of a tissue equivalent plastic scintillator based dosimetry system

Abstract

High precision techniques in radiation therapy, such as intensity modulated radiation therapy, offer the potential for improved target coverage and increased normal tissue sparing compared with conformal radiotherapy. The complex fluence maps used in many of these techniques, however, often lead to more challenging quality assurance with dose verification being labor-intensive and time consuming. A prototype dose verification system has been developed using a tissue equivalent plastic scintillator that provides easy-to-acquire, rapid, digital dose measurements in a plane perpendicular to the beam. The system consists of a water-filled Lucite phantom with a scintillator screen built into the top surface. The phantom contains a silver coated plastic mirror to reflect scintillation light towards a viewing window where it is captured using a charge coupled device camera and a personal computer. Optical photon spread is removed using a microlouvre optical collimator and by deconvolving a glare kernel from the raw images. A characterization of the system was performed that included measurements of linear output response, dose rate dependence, spatial linearity, effective pixel size, signal uniformity and both short- and long-term reproducibility. The average pixel intensity for static, regular shaped fields between 3 cmx3 cm and 12 cmx12 cm imaged with the systemmore » was found to be linear in the dose delivered with linear regression analysis yielding a correlation coefficient r{sup 2}>0.99. Effective pixel size was determined to be 0.53 mm/pixel. The system was found to have a signal uniformity of 5.6% and a long-term reproducibility/stability of 1.7% over a 6 month period. The system's ability to verify a dynamic treatment field was evaluated using 60 deg. dynamic wedged fields and comparing the results to two-dimensional film dosimetry. Results indicate agreement with two-dimensional film dosimetry distributions within 8% inside the field edges. With further development, this system promises to provide a fast, directly digital, and tissue equivalent alternative to current dose verification systems.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Department of Medical Physics, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Z 4E6 (Canada)
  2. (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20774990
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: DOI: 10.1118/1.2140118; (c) 2006 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; COLLIMATORS; DOSE RATES; FILM DOSIMETRY; LUCITE; PERSONAL COMPUTERS; PHANTOMS; PHOTONS; QUALITY ASSURANCE; RADIATION DOSES; RADIOTHERAPY; REGRESSION ANALYSIS; SOLID SCINTILLATION DETECTORS; VERIFICATION

Citation Formats

Petric, M.P., Robar, J.L., Clark, B.G., Department of Medical Physics, Nova Scotia Cancer Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 1V7, and Department of Medical Physics, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Z 4E6. Development and characterization of a tissue equivalent plastic scintillator based dosimetry system. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1118/1.2140118.
Petric, M.P., Robar, J.L., Clark, B.G., Department of Medical Physics, Nova Scotia Cancer Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 1V7, & Department of Medical Physics, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Z 4E6. Development and characterization of a tissue equivalent plastic scintillator based dosimetry system. United States. doi:10.1118/1.2140118.
Petric, M.P., Robar, J.L., Clark, B.G., Department of Medical Physics, Nova Scotia Cancer Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 1V7, and Department of Medical Physics, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Z 4E6. Sun . "Development and characterization of a tissue equivalent plastic scintillator based dosimetry system". United States. doi:10.1118/1.2140118.
@article{osti_20774990,
title = {Development and characterization of a tissue equivalent plastic scintillator based dosimetry system},
author = {Petric, M.P. and Robar, J.L. and Clark, B.G. and Department of Medical Physics, Nova Scotia Cancer Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 1V7 and Department of Medical Physics, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Z 4E6},
abstractNote = {High precision techniques in radiation therapy, such as intensity modulated radiation therapy, offer the potential for improved target coverage and increased normal tissue sparing compared with conformal radiotherapy. The complex fluence maps used in many of these techniques, however, often lead to more challenging quality assurance with dose verification being labor-intensive and time consuming. A prototype dose verification system has been developed using a tissue equivalent plastic scintillator that provides easy-to-acquire, rapid, digital dose measurements in a plane perpendicular to the beam. The system consists of a water-filled Lucite phantom with a scintillator screen built into the top surface. The phantom contains a silver coated plastic mirror to reflect scintillation light towards a viewing window where it is captured using a charge coupled device camera and a personal computer. Optical photon spread is removed using a microlouvre optical collimator and by deconvolving a glare kernel from the raw images. A characterization of the system was performed that included measurements of linear output response, dose rate dependence, spatial linearity, effective pixel size, signal uniformity and both short- and long-term reproducibility. The average pixel intensity for static, regular shaped fields between 3 cmx3 cm and 12 cmx12 cm imaged with the system was found to be linear in the dose delivered with linear regression analysis yielding a correlation coefficient r{sup 2}>0.99. Effective pixel size was determined to be 0.53 mm/pixel. The system was found to have a signal uniformity of 5.6% and a long-term reproducibility/stability of 1.7% over a 6 month period. The system's ability to verify a dynamic treatment field was evaluated using 60 deg. dynamic wedged fields and comparing the results to two-dimensional film dosimetry. Results indicate agreement with two-dimensional film dosimetry distributions within 8% inside the field edges. With further development, this system promises to provide a fast, directly digital, and tissue equivalent alternative to current dose verification systems.},
doi = {10.1118/1.2140118},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 1,
volume = 33,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sun Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}
  • Purpose: To develop new proton tissue equivalent materials (PTEM), urethane and fiberglass based, for proton therapy calibration and dosimetry studies. Existing tissue equivalent plastics are applicable only for x-rays because they focus on matching mass attenuation coefficients. This study aims to create new plastics that match mass stopping powers for proton therapy applications instead. Methods: New PTEMs were constructed using urethane and fiberglass resin materials for soft, fat, bone, and lung tissue. The stoichiometric analysis method was first used to determine the elemental composition of each unknown constituent. New initial formulae were then developed for each of the 4 PTEMsmore » using the new elemental compositions and various additives. Samples of each plastic were then created and exposed to a well defined proton beam at the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute (UFHPTI) to validate its mass stopping power. Results: The stoichiometric analysis method revealed the elemental composition of the 3 components used in creating the PTEMs. These urethane and fiberglass based resins were combined with additives such as calcium carbonate, aluminum hydroxide, and phenolic micro spheres to achieve the desired mass stopping powers and densities. Validation at the UFHPTI revealed adjustments had to be made to the formulae, but the plastics eventually had the desired properties after a few iterations. The mass stopping power, density, and Hounsfield Unit of each of the 4 PTEMs were within acceptable tolerances. Conclusion: Four proton tissue equivalent plastics were developed: soft, fat, bone, and lung tissue. These plastics match each of the corresponding tissue’s mass stopping power, density, and Hounsfield Unit, meaning they are truly tissue equivalent for proton therapy applications. They can now be used to calibrate proton therapy treatment planning systems, improve range uncertainties, validate proton therapy Monte Carlo simulations, and assess in-field and out-of-field organ doses.« less
  • Many scientific research areas rely on accurate electron density characterization of various materials. For instance in X-ray optics and radiation therapy, there is a need for a fast and reliable technique to quantitatively characterize samples for electron density. We present how a precise measurement of electron density can be performed using an X-ray phase-contrast grating interferometer in a radiographic mode of a homogenous sample in a controlled geometry. A batch of various plastic materials was characterized quantitatively and compared with calculated results. We found that the measured electron densities closely match theoretical values. The technique yields comparable results between amore » monochromatic and a polychromatic X-ray source. Measured electron densities can be further used to design dedicated X-ray phase contrast phantoms and the additional information on small angle scattering should be taken into account in order to exclude unsuitable materials.« less
  • Purpose: A methodology is presented to correct for measurement inaccuracies at high detector count rates using a plastic and GOS scintillation fibers coupled to a photomultiplier tube with digital readout. This system allows temporal acquisition and manipulation of measured data. Methods: The detection system used was a plastic scintillator and a separate gadolinium scintillator, both (0.5 diameter) coupled to an optical fiber with a Hamamatsu photon counter with a built-in microcontroller and digital interface. Count rate performance of the system was evaluated using the nonparalzable detector model. Detector response was investigated across multiple radiation sources including: orthovoltage x-ray system, colbat-60more » gamma rays, proton therapy beam, and a diagnostic radiography x-ray tube. The dead time parameter was calculated by measuring the count rate of the system at different exposure rates using a reference detector. Results: The system dead time was evaluated for the following sources of radiation used clinically: diagnostic energy x-rays, cobalt-60 gamma rays, orthovoltage xrays, particle proton accelerator, and megavoltage x-rays. It was found that dead time increased significantly when exposing the detector to sources capable of generating Cerenkov radiation, all of the sources sans the diagnostic x-rays, with increasing prominence at higher photon energies. Percent depth dose curves generated by a dedicated ionization chamber and compared to the detection system demonstrated that correcting for dead time improves accuracy. On most sources, nonparalzable model fit provided an improved system response. Conclusion: Overall, the system dead time was variable across the investigated radiation particles and energies. It was demonstrated that the system response accuracy was greatly improved by correcting for dead time effects. Cerenkov radiation plays a significant role in the increase in the system dead time through transient absorption effects attributed to electron hole-pair creations within the optical waveguide.« less
  • One way to improve the performance of scintillation dosimeters is to increase the light-collection efficiency at the coupling interfaces of the detector system. We performed a detailed study of surface preparation of scintillating fibers and their coupling with clear optical fibers to minimize light loss and increase the amount of light collected. We analyzed fiber-surface polishing with aluminum oxide sheets, coating fibers with magnesium oxide, and the use of eight different coupling agents (air, three optical gels, an optical curing agent, ultraviolet light, cyanoacrylate glue, and acetone). We prepared 10 scintillating fiber and clear optical fiber light guide samples tomore » test different coupling methods. To test the coupling, we first cut both the scintillating fiber and the clear optical fiber. Then, we cleaned and polished both ends of both fibers. Finally, we coupled the scintillating fiber with the clear optical fiber in either a polyethylene jacket or a V-grooved support depending on the coupling agent used. To produce more light, we used an ultraviolet lamp to stimulate scintillation. A typical series of similar couplings showed a standard deviation in light-collection efficiency of 10%. This can be explained by differences in the surface preparation quality and alignment of the scintillating fiber with the clear optical fiber. Absence of surface polishing reduced the light collection by approximately 40%, and application of magnesium oxide on the proximal end of the scintillating fiber increased the amount of light collected from the optical fiber by approximately 39%. Of the coupling agents, we obtained the best results using one of the optical gels. Because a large amount of the light produced inside a scintillator is usually lost, better light-collection efficiency will result in improved sensitivity.« less