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On the Ion Beam Range and Dose Verification in Hadron Therapy Using Sound Waves

E Fourkal

E Fourkal1,2*, I Veltchev1 , O Gayou2 , V Nahirnyak3 , (1) Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, (2) Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, (3) Bukovinian State Medical University, Chernivtsi,


SU-E-J-138 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Accurate range verification is of great importance to fully exploit the potential benefits of ion beam therapies. Current research efforts on this topic include the use of PET imaging of induced activity, detection of emerging prompt gamma rays or secondary particles. It has also been suggested recently to detect the ultrasound waves emitted through the ion energy absorption process. The energy absorbed in a medium is dissipated as heat, followed by thermal expansion that leads to generation of acoustic waves. By using an array of ultrasound transducers the precise spatial location of the Bragg peak can be obtained. The shape and intensity of the emitted ultrasound pulse depend on several variables including the absorbed energy and the pulse length. The main objective of this work is to understand how the ultrasound wave amplitude and shape depend on the initial ion energy and intensity. This would help guide future experiments in ionoacoustic imaging.

The absorbed energy density for protons and carbon ions of different energy and field sizes were obtained using Fluka Monte Carlo code. Subsequently, the system of coupled equations for temperature and pressure is solved for different ion pulse intensities and lengths to obtain the pressure wave shape, amplitude and spectral distribution.

The proposed calculations show that the excited pressure wave amplitude is proportional to the absorbed energy density and for longer ion pulses inversely proportional to the ion pulse duration. It is also shown that the resulting ionoacoustic pressure distribution depends on both ion pulse duration and time between the pulses.

The Bragg peak localization using ionoacoustic signal may eventually lead to the development of an alternative imaging method with sub-millimeter resolution. It may also open a way for in-vivo dose verification from the measured acoustic signal.

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