Polymer gel dosimetry for measuring the dose near thin high-Z materials irradiated with high energy photon beams

Leighton L. Warmington, N. Gopishankar, John H. Broadhurst, Yoichi Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the feasibility of three-dimensional (3D) dose measurements near thin high-Z materials placed in a water-like medium by using a polymer gel dosimeter (PGD) when the medium was irradiated with high energy photon beams. Methods: PGD is potentially a useful tool for this application because it can record the dose around a small object made of a high-Z material in a continuous 3D medium. In this study, the authors manufactured a methacrylic acid-based normoxic PGD, nMAG. Two 0.5 mm thick lead foils (1 × 1 cm) were placed in foil supports with 0.7 cm separation in a 1000 ml polystyrene container filled with nMAG. The authors used two foil configurations, i.e., orthogonal and parallel. In the orthogonal configuration, two foils were placed in the direction orthogonal to the beam axis. The parallel configuration had two foils arranged in parallel to the beam axis. The phantom was irradiated with an 18 MV photon beam of 5 × 5 cm field size. It was imaged with a three-Tesla (3 T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanned using the Car-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill pulse sequence. The spin-spin relaxation time (R2) to-dose calibration data were obtained by using small vials filled with nMAG and exposing to known doses. The DOSXYZnrc Monte Carlo (MC) code was used to get the expected dose distributions. More than 35 × 106 of histories were simulated so that the average error was less than 1%. An in-house matlab-based software was used to obtain the dose distributions from the measured R2 data as well as to compare the measurements and the MC predictions. The dose change due to the presence of the foils was studied by comparing the dose distributions with and without foils (or the reference). Results: For the orthogonal configuration, the measured dose along the beam axis showed an increase in the upstream side of the first foil, between the foils, and on the downstream side of the second foil. The range of increased dose area was 1.1 cm in the upstream of the first foil. However, in the downstream of the second foil, it was 0.2 cm, beyond which the dose fell below the reference dose by 10%. The dose profile between the foils showed a well-like shape with the minimum dose still larger than the reference dose by 1.8%. The minimum dose point was closer to the first foil than to the second foil. For the parallel configuration, the dose between foils was the largest at the center. The increased dose area opposite to the gap between foils extended outward to 1 cm. The spatial dose distributions of PGD and MC showed the same geometrical patterns except for the points inside the foils for both orthogonal and parallel foil arrangements. Conclusions: The authors demonstrated that the nMAG PGD with MRI could be used to measure the 3D dosimetric structures at the mm-scale in the vicinity of the foil. The current study provided more accurate 3D spatial dose distribution than the previous studies. Furthermore, the measurements were validated by the MC simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6525-6535
Number of pages11
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was performed in partial fulfillment of the first author's doctoral thesis. The project was financially supported by several grants from the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Minnesota. The MRI facility (CMRR) used for this study was supported by NIH Grant No. P41 EB015894.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.


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