3D printed copper-plastic composite material for use as a radiotherapy bolus

Eric D. Ehler, David A. Sterling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The purpose of this work is to evaluate a commercially available copper-plastic composite material for use as a custom fit 3D printed bolus. Superficial dose under copper-plastic composite bolus was assessed for 0.4 mm, 0.6 mm, and 0.8 mm thicknesses. Superficial dose measurements were performed with an Attix parallel plate ionization chamber and radiochromic film. Additionally, a custom-fit bolus was designed for the temporal-frontal cranial region of an anthropomorphic phantom. A treatment plan with a tangential field arrangement was designed, and radiochromic film was used to measure the dose enhancement to the surface of the phantom from the bolus and compared to the calculated dose. It was shown that 3D printed copper-plastic composite bolus can provide the equivalent dose enhancement of thicker conventional bolus. Due to the limited thickness of the copper-plastic composite the bolus can remain flexible, which can aid in the placement of the bolus and improve patient comfort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-206
Number of pages5
JournalPhysica Medica
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • 3D printing
  • Bolus
  • Composite plastic
  • Copper
  • Surface dose


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