Accuracy of Monte Carlo photon transport simulation in characterizing brachytherapy dosimeter energy-response artefacts

R. K. Das, Z. Li, H. Perera, J. F. Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Practical dosimeters in brachytherapy, such as thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) and diodes, are usually calibrated against low-energy megavoltage beams. To measure absolute dose rate near a brachytherapy source, it is necessary to establish the energy response of the detector relative to that of the calibration energy. The purpose of this paper is to assess the accuracy of Monte Carlo photon transport (MCPT) simulation in modelling the absolute detector response as a function of detector geometry and photon energy. We have exposed two different sizes of TLD-100 (LiF chips) and p type silicon diode detectors to calibrated 60Co, HDR source (192Ir) and superficial x-ray beams. For the Scanditronix electron-field diode, the relative detector response, defined as the measured detector readings per measured unit of air kerma, varied from 3846 V cGy-1 (40 kVp beam) to 6.22 V cGy-1 (60Co beam). Similarly for the large and small chips the same quantity varied from 2.08-3.02 nC cGy-1 and 0.171-0.244 nC cGy-1, respectively Monte Carlo simulation was used to calculate the absorbed dose to the active volume of the detector per unit air kerma. If the Monte Carlo simulation is accurate, then the absolute detector response, which is defined as the measured detector reading per unit dose absorbed by the active detector volume, and is calculated by Monte Carlo simulation, should be a constant. For the diode, the absolute response is 5.86 ± 0.15 (V cGy-1). For TLDs of size 3 x 3 x 1 mm3 the absolute response is 2.47 ± 0.07 (nC cGy-1) and for TLDs of 1 x 1 x 1 mm3 it is 0.201 ± 0.008 (nC cGy-1). From the above results we can conclude that the absolute response function of detectors (TLDs and diodes) is directly proportional to absorbed dose by the active volume of the detector and is independent of beam quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1006
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1996

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