Photonics Enabled Micro-Dosimeters With Nano-Particle Scintillators
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012 (World Health Organization).
Radiation therapy that uses X-rays to destroy or injure cancer cells, has become one of the most important modalities to treat primary cancer or advanced cancers.
The newly developed microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) uses a high number of X-ray microbeams produced by synchrotron sources. It offers tremendous promise for cancer patients through its ability to destroy tumour cells while allowing the surrounding tissue to rapidly recover. MRT represents a new paradigm in radiotherapy and has shown great promise in pre-clinical studies on different animal models.
Measurements of the absorbed dose distribution of microbeams are essential for clinical acceptance of MRT and for developing Quality Assurance systems. This remains a challenging and important task for radiation dosimetry. On the other hand, skin dose measurements and treatment planning (especially relevant to breast cancer patients for example), also requires a high spatial resolution, tissue equivalent, on-line dosimeter that is both economical and highly reliable.
Such a dosimeter currently does not exist.
The aim of this project is to investigate novel photonic radiation detection methods and develop optical micro-dosimeters by taking advantage of the latest developments in photonics and nanotechnology. These technologies will be adopted to help deliver a new class of radiation detectors. It is envisaged these micro-dosimeters will have a wide range of applications beyond radiation medicine dosimetry and diagnostic imaging to include areas such as homeland security, radiation hazard prevention and protection.
This project brings together a number of research strengths at UOW and combines interdisciplinary expertise in photonics, medical physics, nano-particle synthesis, cancer treatment and radiation protection.
Dr Enbang Li is from the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics in the School of Physics, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, and the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM), the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials, at UOW
Associate Professor Jun Chen is from the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute at the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials at UOW
Professor Huang Xu-Feng is based in the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, and School of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, at UOW
Professor Rodney Croft is from the Centre for Health Initiatives and School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences at UOW