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The University of Southampton

Research project: 3D gel dosimetry in radiotherapy using ultrasonic methods

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The latest generations of radiotherapy machines are capable of producing very complex distributions of radiation dose to conform to the 3D shape of a tumour and minimise the dose given to healthy tissue and sensitive organs. They can, however, prove difficult as far as quality assurance is concerned as there is a lack of inexpensive systems for checking the resultant 3D dose distributions. This project is attempting to develop techniques of measuring dose distributions based on the ultrasonic readout of the changes caused by ionizing radiation.

Radiation can affect a range of properties of materials. It can for example, result in changes in the density and elastic moduli of a material which in turn results in a change in the acoustic properties of the material. This project is investigating the changes in density, speed of sound and attenuation in one type of gel as a function of radiation dose. Various approaches are being investigated that will enable these changes in acoustic properties to be imaged using a standard medical ultrasound scanner and hence determine the radiation dose distribution.

This work is being performed in conjunction with the Medical Physics Department of the Royal United Hospital, Bath.

M A Tooley, F A Duck [Royal United Hospital, Bath]

Related research groups

Acoustics Group
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