Fiber optically coupled radioluminescence detectors: A short review of key strengths and weaknesses of BCF-60 and Al2O3:C scintillating-material based systems in radiotherapy dosimetry applications

Siritorn Buranurak, Claus E. Andersen

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    Abstract

    Radiotherapy technologies have improved for several decades aiming to effectively destroy cancerous tissues without overdosing surrounding healthy tissues. In order to fulfil this requirement, accurate and precise dosimetry systems play an important role. Throughout the years, ionization chambers have been used as a standard detector for basic linear accelerator calibrations and reference dosimetry in hospitals. However, they are not ideal for all treatment modalities: and limitations and difficulties have been reported in case of (i) small treatment fields, (ii) strong magnetic field used in the new hybrid MRI LINAC/cobalt systems, and (iii) in vivo measurements due to safety-issues related to the high operating voltage. Fiber optically coupled luminescence detectors provide a promising supplement to ionization chambers by offering the capability of real-time in vivo dose monitoring with high time resolution. In particular, the all-optical nature of these detectors is an advantage for in vivo measurements due to the absence of high voltage supply or electrical wire that could cause harm to the patient or disturb the treatment. Basically, fiber-coupled luminescence detector systems function by radiation-induced generation of radioluminescence from a sub-mm size organic/inorganic phosphor. A thin optical fiber cable is used for guiding the radioluminescence to a photomultiplier tube or similar sensitive light detection systems. The measured light intensity is proportional to dose rate. Throughout the years, developments and research of the fiber detector systems have undergone in several groups worldwide. In this article, the in-house developed fiber detector systems based on two luminescence phosphors of (i) BCF-60 polystyrene-based organic plastic scintillator and (ii) carbon-doped aluminum oxide crystal (Al2O3:C) are reviewed with comparison to the same material-based systems reported in the literature. The potential use of these detectors for reference-class dosimetry in radiotherapy will be discussed with a particular emphasis on uses in small and large MV photon fields.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number012028
    Book seriesJournal of Physics: Conference Series
    Volume860
    Issue number1
    Number of pages12
    ISSN1742-6596
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Open access. Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd

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