Evaluation of the Accuracy of Polymer Gels for Determining Electron Dose Distributions in the Presence of Small Heterogeneities

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The aim of this study is to evaluate the application and accuracy of polymer gels for determining electron dose distributions in the presence of small heterogeneities made of bone and air. Different cylindrical phantoms containing MAGIC (Methacrylic and Ascorbic acid in Gelatin Initiated by Copper) normoxic polymer gel were used under the slab phantoms during irradiation. MR images of the irradiated gel phantoms were obtained to determine their R2 (spin-spin) relaxation maps for conversion to absorbed dose. One- and 2-dimensional lateral dose profiles were acquired at depths of 1 and 4 cm for 8 and 15 MeV electron beams. The results were compared with the doses measured by a diode detector at the same positions. In addition, the dose distribution in the axial orientation was measured by the gel dosimeter. The slope and intercept for the R2 versus dose curve were 0.509 ± 0.002 Gy−1 s−1 and 4.581 ± 0.005 s−1, respectively. No significant variation in dose-R2 response was seen for the two electron energies within the applied dose ranges. The mean dose difference between the measured gel dose profiles was smaller than 3% compared to those measured by the diode detector. These results provide further demonstration that electron dose distributions are significantly altered in the presence of tissue inhomogeneities such as bone and air cavity and that MAGIC gel is a useful tool for 3-dimensional dose visualization and qualitative assessment of tissue inhomogeneity effects in electron beam dosimetry.

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