A novel proton counting detector and method for the validation of tissue and implant material maps for Monte Carlo dose calculation

Serdar Charyyev, Chih Wei Chang, Joseph Harms, Cristina Oancea, S. Tim Yoon, Xiaofeng Yang, Tiezhi Zhang, Jun Zhou, Liyong Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The presence of artificial implants complicates the delivery of proton therapy due to inaccurate characterization of both the implant and the surrounding tissues. In this work, we describe a method to characterize implant and human tissue mimicking materials in terms of relative stopping power (RSP) using a novel proton counting detector. Each proton is tracked by directly measuring the deposited energy along the proton track using a fast, pixelated spectral detector AdvaPIX-TPX3 (TPX3). We considered three scenarios to characterize the RSPs. First, in-air measurements were made in the presence of metal rods (Al, Ti and CoCr) and bone. Then, measurements of energy perturbations in the presence of metal implants and bone in an anthropomorphic phantom were performed. Finally, sampling of cumulative stopping power (CSP) of the phantom were made at different locations of the anthropomorphic phantom. CSP and RSP information were extracted from energy spectra at each beam path. To quantify the RSP of metal rods we used the shift in the most probable energy (MPE) of CSP from the reference CSP without a rod. Overall, the RSPs were determined as 1.48, 2.06, 3.08, and 5.53 from in-air measurements; 1.44, 1.97, 2.98, and 5.44 from in-phantom measurements, for bone, Al, Ti and CoCr, respectively. Additionally, we sampled CSP for multiple paths of the anthropomorphic phantom ranging from 18.63 to 25.23 cm deriving RSP of soft tissues and bones in agreement within 1.6% of TOPAS simulations. Using minimum error of these multiple CSP, optimal mass densities were derived for soft tissue and bone and they are within 1% of vendor-provided nominal densities. The preliminary data obtained indicates the proposed novel method can be used for the validation of material and density maps, required by proton Monte Carlo Dose calculation, provided by competing multi-energy computed tomography and metal artifact reduction techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045003
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 21 2021


  • Let
  • Monte carlo dose calculation
  • Multi energy computed tomography
  • Proton counting detector
  • Proton therapy imaging
  • Spot scanning proton therapy
  • Surgical implant


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