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A Water Calorimeter for Use in MRI Linacs

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L De Prez

L De Prez*, J De Pooter , B Jansen , VSL, Dutch Metrology Institute, Delft, The Netherlands


WE-G-17A-6 Wednesday 4:30PM - 6:00PM Room: 17A

At VSL, Dutch Metrology Institute, a new water calorimeter was developed with the purpose to replace the existing primary standard for absorbed dose to water in the Netherlands. The new water calorimeter is designed to be operable in medium- to high energy photon beams, electrons, protons as well as MRI integrated linear accelerators. VSL has operated a water calorimeter since 2001. This calorimeter formed the basis for the NCS-18 dosimetry protocol, which is commonly applied by medical physicists in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The unit Gray is the unit of interest for measurement of the absorbed dose to water. Water calorimetry involves the measurement of a small temperature rise (0.24 mK/Gy) with an uncertainty of less than 1 μK/Gy at a temperature of 4 °C. Using extensive multi-physics simulations the new calorimeter's thermal performance was simulated before it was constructed at the end of 2013. With the advent of radiotherapy treatment units incorporating MR imaging the performance of the thermistor temperature sensors were characterized in a 1.5 T magnetic field.

A change of thermistor resistance was observed of less than 0.004% as a result of the magneto-resistance effect in a 1.5 T magnetic field. Although a magneto-resistance effect was detectable, the effect on the temperature response in the water calorimeter was found to be negligible.

With the realization of the new calorimeter operable in MRI linacs and designed for use in a variety of beam modalities, VSL is ready for accurate dosimetry in new advanced radiotherapy modalities. Due to the small form factor the calorimeter can be used on location in the actual therapy beam inside a 68 cm linac bore.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: This work was supported by EMRP grant HLT06. The EMRP is jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union.

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