Evaluation of radiochromic gel dosimetry and polymer gel dosimetry in a clinical dose verification

Jan Vandecasteele, Yves De Deene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


A quantitative comparison of two full three-dimensional (3D) gel dosimetry techniques was assessed in a clinical setting: radiochromic gel dosimetry with an in-house developed optical laser CT scanner and polymer gel dosimetry with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). To benchmark both gel dosimeters, they were exposed to a 6 MV photon beam and the depth dose was compared against a diamond detector measurement that served as golden standard. Both gel dosimeters were found accurate within 4% accuracy. In the 3D dose matrix of the radiochromic gel, hotspot dose deviations up to 8% were observed which are attributed to the fabrication procedure. The polymer gel readout was shown to be sensitive to B0 field and B1 field non-uniformities as well as temperature variations during scanning. The performance of the two gel dosimeters was also evaluated for a brain tumour IMRT treatment. Both gel measured dose distributions were compared against treatment planning system predicted dose maps which were validated independently with ion chamber measurements and portal dosimetry. In the radiochromic gel measurement, two sources of deviations could be identified. Firstly, the dose in a cluster of voxels near the edge of the phantom deviated from the planned dose. Secondly, the presence of dose hotspots in the order of 10% related to inhomogeneities in the gel limit the clinical acceptance of this dosimetry technique. Based on the results of the micelle gel dosimeter prototype presented here, chemical optimization will be subject of future work. Polymer gel dosimetry is capable of measuring the absolute dose in the whole 3D volume within 5% accuracy. A temperature stabilization technique is incorporated to increase the accuracy during short measurements, however keeping the temperature stable during long measurement times in both calibration phantoms and the volumetric phantom is more challenging. The sensitivity of MRI readout to minimal temperature fluctuations is demonstrated which proves the need for adequate compensation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6241-6262
Number of pages22
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


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