Development of a Novel X-ray CT-Scannable Dosimeter

Period of Performance: 08/10/2001 - 05/31/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mers, LLC
2832 Renfrew Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Principal Investigator


A paramount objective of three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) is to achieve precise delivery of maximum dose to the target area, white greatly mitigating (if not eliminating) the risk of exposure to adjacent normal body structures. Notwithstanding the advent of sophisticated, computer-controlled equipment, techniques and therapeutic protocols, verification of treatment plans through measurement of dose distributions in gel phantoms has become a desirable practice. Since its introduction in 1984, considerable volume of research on gel dosimetry has evolved a second-generation product with decent performance. In clear distinction from the technical approaches extant, we propose to exploit the sharp phase separation between a lyotropic liquid crystal and a polymer network (produced upon irradiation) to develop the necessary dose contrast (electron density difference) for facile analysis by standard x-ray CT techniques. Besides targeting performance enhancements in terms of dose sensitivity, linearity, response time and resolution, our approach confers an important economic advantage: the use of commonly available CT scanner versus the limited-access MRI scanner prescribed for current gel dosimetric practices. With successful development, we believe that our innovation has the potential to revolutionize the 3DCRT practice because we simultaneously target low cost, high performance, ready access and wide commercial acceptance. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The goal of 3DCRT techniques is to precisely control and confine the high dose volume to the target volume planned for treatment, whereby the risk of patient injury is greatly minimized. We propose a novel approach to develop a get phantom for dosimetric verification of radiation treatment plan, which holds the potential for expeditious commercial implementation, since it specifically targets the utilization of readily available CT scanners for imaging and dosimetric analysis, besides the opportunity for developing a proprietary technology.