Electron paramagnetic resonance biophysical radiation dosimetry with tooth enamel

Rao F.H. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This thesis deals with the advancements made in the field of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) for biophysical dosimetry with tooth enamel for accident, emergency, and retrospective radiation dose reconstruction. A methodology has been developed to measure retrospective radiation exposures in human tooth enamel. This entails novel sample preparation procedures with minimum mechanical treatment to reduce the preparation induced uncertainties, establish optimum measurement conditions inside the EPR cavity, post-process the measured spectrum with functional simulation of dosimetric and other interfering signals, and reconstruct dose. By using this technique, retrospective gamma exposures as low as [formula omitted] have been successfully deciphered. The notion of dose modifier was introduced in EPR biodosimetry for low dose measurements. It has been demonstrated that by using the modified zero added dose (MZAD) technique for low radiation exposures, doses in 100 mGy ranges can be easily reconstructed in teeth that were previously thought useless for EPR dosimetry. Also, the use of a dose modifier makes robust dose reconstruction possible for higher radiation exposures. The EPR dosimetry technique was also developed for tooth samples extracted from rodents, which represent small tooth sizing. EPR doses in the molars, extracted from the mice irradiated with whole body exposures, were reassessed and shown to be correct within the experimental uncertainty. The sensitivity of human tooth enamel for neutron irradiation, obtained from the 3 MV McMaster K.N. Van de Graaff accelerator, was also studied. For the first time this work has shown that the neutron sensitivity of the tooth enamel is approximately 1/10th of the equivalent gamma sensitivity. Parametric studies for neutron dose rate and neutron energy within the available range of the accelerator, showed no impact on the sensitivity of the tooth enamel. Therefore, tooth enamel can be used as a dosimeter for both neutrons as well as gamma radiation. We will continue experiments to develop this end point as a sensitive accident or emergency tool for our response capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2266
Number of pages1
JournalMedical physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Electron paramagnetic resonance biophysical radiation dosimetry with tooth enamel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this