Detection of radiation effects in polymer gel dosimeters using 129Xe NMR

J. M. Joers, P. M. Fong, J. C. Gore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Polymer gel dosimeters consist of monomers, with or without cross-linking agents, dispersed in a gel. Upon exposure to ionizing radiation, polymerization proceeds within the gel matrix, thereby changing several measurable physical properties that can then be related quantitatively to absorbed dose. Several previous studies have examined how various nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) properties, such as the relaxation rates of water protons, change with dose, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used successfully to measure three-dimensional dose distributions in irradiated polymer gels. Here we report our first observations of the manner in which the chemical shift of xenon gas (129Xe) dissolved in a gel changes with absorbed dose, and we introduce the potential use of high resolution xenon NMR spectra for understanding better the dose response of gels. 129Xe possesses a large chemical shift range and xenon spectra are sensitive to subtle changes in the physical and chemical environments in which the gas is dissolved. For doses ranging from 0 Gy to 40 Gy we found that the mean chemical shift of 129Xe was linearly related to dose, and that the gel dosimeter could be described in terms of a two-component model undergoing fast exchange. We found no evidence of radiation damage to the gelatin matrix at doses between 0 Gy and 40 Gy. At 40 Gy, the fast-exchange model begins to break down, and distinct gelatin and poly(methacrylate) resonances are observed at higher doses. High resolution NMR measurements of xenon provide a novel method for probing radiation dose effects in irradiated polymer gels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)N23-N30
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2006


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