Direct Response to Proton Beam Linear Energy Transfer (LET) in a Novel Polymer Gel Dosimeter Formulation
ABSTRACT Linear energy transfer (LET) of clinical proton beams is an important parameter influencing the biological effects of radiation. This work demonstrates LET-induced response enhance_ment in novel formulations of polymer gel dosimeters, potentially useful for LET mapping of clinical proton beams. A series of four polymer gel dosimeters (labeled A through D), prepared based on the BANG3-Pro2 formulation, but with varying concentrations of polymerization modifiers, were irradiated by a clinical proton beam with a spread out Bragg peak modulation (SOBP) and read out using the OCTOPUS-IQ optical CT scanner. The evaluation of optical density profiles in the SOBP (constant physical dose) revealed response deviations at the distal end consistent with variations in gel composition. Maximum response deviations were as follows: 23% (under-response) for gel A, and over-response of 2%, 12%, and 17% for gels B, C, and D, respectively, relative to the mean dose in the center of the SOBP. This enhancement in optical response was correlated to LET by analytical calculations. Gels A and B showed no measurable dependence on LET. Gel C responded linearly in the limited range from 1.5 to 3.5 keV/μm. LET response of gel D was linear up to at least 5.5 keV/μm, with the threshold at about 1.3 keV/μm. These results suggest that it may be possible to develop a polymer gel system with direct optical response to LET for mapping of LET distributions for particle therapy beams.
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ABSTRACT: Polymer gels are regarded as a potential dosimeter for independent validation of absorbed doses in clinical radiotherapy. Several imaging modalities have been used to convert radiation-induced polymerization to absorbed doses from a macro-scale viewpoint. This study developed a novel dose conversion mechanism by texture analysis of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. The modified N-isopropyl-acrylamide (NIPAM) gels were prepared under normoxic conditions, and were administered radiation doses from 5 to 20 Gy. After freeze drying, the gel samples were sliced for SEM scanning with 50×, 500×, and 3500× magnifications. Four texture indices were calculated based on the gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM). The results showed that entropy and homogeneity were more suitable than contrast and energy as dose indices for higher linearity and sensitivity of the dose response curves. After parameter optimization, an R (2) value of 0.993 can be achieved for homogeneity using 500× magnified SEM images with 27 pixel offsets and no outlier exclusion. For dose verification, the percentage errors between the prescribed dose and the measured dose for 5, 10, 15, and 20 Gy were -7.60%, 5.80%, 2.53%, and -0.95%, respectively. We conclude that texture analysis can be applied to the SEM images of gel dosimeters to accurately convert micro-scale structural features to absorbed doses. The proposed method may extend the feasibility of applying gel dosimeters in the fields of diagnostic radiology and radiation protection.PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e67281. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0067281 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) detectors (OSLDs) have shown potential for measurements of linear energy transfer (LET) in proton therapy beams. However, the technique lacks the efficiency needed for clinical implementation, and a faster, simpler approach to LET measurements is desirable. The goal of this work was to demonstrate and evaluate the potential of calibrating Al2O3:C OSLDs for LET measurements using new methods. We exposed batches of OSLDs to unmodulated proton beams of varying LET and calibrated three parameters of the resulting OSL signals as functions of fluence-averaged LET (-LET) and dose-averaged LET (D-LET). These three parameters included the OSL curve shape evaluated under continuous wave stimulation (CW-OSL), the OSL curve shape evaluated under pulsed stimulation (P-OSL), and the intensity ratio of the two main emission bands in the Al2O3:C OSL emission spectrum (ultraviolet [UV]/blue ratio). To test the calibration, we then irradiated new batches of OSLDs in modulated proton beams of varying LET, and used the OSL signal parameters to calculate -LET and D-LET under these new test conditions. Using the P-OSL curve shape, D-LET was measured within 5.7% of the expected value. We conclude that from a single 10 s readout (following initial calibration), both the absorbed dose and LET in proton therapy beams can be measured using OSLDs. This has potential future applications in the quality assurance of proton therapy treatment plans, particularly for those that may account for LET or relative biological effectiveness in their optimization. The methods demonstrated in this work may also be applicable to other particle therapy beams, including carbon ion beams.Physics in Medicine and Biology 07/2014; 59(15):4295. DOI:10.1088/0031-9155/59/15/4295 · 2.92 Impact Factor