Silicon photomultipliers for deep tissue Cerenkov emission detection during external beam radiotherapy

Ibrahim Oraiqat, Samuel DeBruin, Robin Pearce, Christopher Como, Justin Mikell, Charles Taylor, John Way, Manuel Suarez, Alnawaz Rehemtulla, Roy Clarke, Issam El Naqa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cerenkov Emission (CE) during external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) from a linear accelerator (Linac) has been demonstrated as a useful tool for radiotherapy quality assurance and potentially other applications for online tracking of tumors during treatment delivery. However, some of the current challenges that are impacting the potential of CE are related to the limited detection sensitivity and the lack of flexible tools to fit into an already complex treatment delivery environment. Silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) solid-state devices are new promising tools for low light detection due to their extreme sensitivity that mirrors photomultiplier tubes and yet have a form factor that is similar to silicon photodiodes, allowing for improved flexibility in device design that may help in the process of wider clinical applicability. In this paper, we assess the feasibility of using SiPMs to detect CE during EBRT from a Linac and contrast their performance with commercially available silicon photodiodes (PDs). We demonstrate the feasibility of the SiPM-based probes for standard dosimetry measurements. We also demonstrate that CE optical signals can be detected from tissue depths about five times greater than that for standard probes based on PDs, making our SiPM probe an enabling technology of CE measurements, particularly for deep tissue applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2931845
JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Biophotonics instrumentation
  • Cerenkov emission
  • Medical photonics instrumentation
  • Radiotherapy
  • Silicon photomultiplier


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