MODELING AND DEVELOPMENT OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL GEL DOSIMETERS
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A dynamic mathematical model was developed to simulate the response of polyacrylamide gel (PAG) dosimeters to a single spherical radioactive brachytherapy seed. Simulations were conducted for a high dose-rate (HDR) seed using 192Ir and a low dose-rate (LDR) seed using 125I. The model is able to predict the amount of polymer formed, the crosslink density, and the volume fraction of aqueous phase as a function of radial distance and time. Results show that PAG dosimeters can provide accurate HDR brachytherapy dosimetry at distances larger than 4 mm from the centre of the seed but will give poor results for LDR due to monomer diffusion. Experiments were conducted to evaluate the potential for using pentacosa-10,12-diynoic acid (PCDA) as the reporter molecule in micelle gel dosimeters for optical computed tomography (CT) readout. Several gels containing PCDA that was solubilized using sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) responded to radiation by changing from colourless to blue. Unfortunately, all phantoms that showed colour changes were turbid, making them unsuitable for optical CT scanning. Several techniques were used to produce transparent gels containing PCDA but none of these gels responded noticeably to radiation. Only turbid gels with precipitated PCDA responded, indicating that the colour change was due to oligomerization within PCDA crystals and that PCDA molecules solubilized in micelles did not undergo oligomerization. As a result, PCDA is not suitable for use in radiochromic micelle gel dosimeters. A new recipe for a radiochromic leuco crystal violet (LCV) micelle gel dosimeters with enhanced dose sensitivity was developed for optical CT readout. The recipe contains LCV, trichloro acetic acid (TCAA), Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Bromide (CTAB), 2,2,2-Trichloroethanol (TCE), and gelatin. Experiments were conducted to improve understanding about interactions between the different components of LCV micelle gel, highlighting the importance of pH on dose sensitivity and transparency. Results also showed the effectiveness of chlorinated compounds in improving dose sensitivity. Statistical techniques were used to build empirical models that were used to optimize the gel recipe. Additional testing in larger phantoms will be required to assess the effectiveness of the proposed gel for clinical dosimetry.