Water equivalence of NIPAM based polymer gel dosimeters with enhanced sensitivity for x-ray CT

Tina Gorjiara, Robin Hill, Stephen Bosi, Zdenka Kuncic, Clive Baldock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Two new formulations of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) based three dimensional (3D) gel dosimeters have recently been developed with improved sensitivity to x-ray CT readout, one without any co-solvent and the other one with isopropanol co-solvent. The water equivalence of the NIPAM gel dosimeters was investigated using different methods to calculate their radiological properties including: density, electron density, number of electrons per grams, effective atomic number, photon interaction probabilities, mass attenuation and energy absorption coefficients, electron collisional, radiative and total mass stopping powers and electron mass scattering power. Monte Carlo modelling was also used to compare the dose response of these gel dosimeters with water for kilovoltage and megavoltage x-ray beams and for megavoltage electron beams. We found that the density and electron density of the co-solvent free gel dosimeter are more water equivalent with less than a 2.6% difference compared to a 5.7% difference for the isopropanol gel dosimeter. Both the co-solvent free and isopropanol solvent gel dosimeters have lower effective atomic numbers than water, differing by 2.2% and 6.5%, respectively. As a result, their photoelectric absorption interaction probabilities are up to 6% and 19% different from water, respectively. Compton scattering and pair production interaction probabilities of NIPAM gel with isopropanol differ by up to 10% from water while for the co-solvent free gel, the differences are 3%. Mass attenuation and energy absorption coefficients of the co-solvent free gel dosimeter and the isopropanol gel dosimeter are up to 7% and 19% lower than water, respectively. Collisional and total mass stopping powers of both gel dosimeters differ by less than 2% from those of water. The dose response of the co-solvent free gel dosimeter is water equivalent (with <1% discrepancy) for dosimetry of x-rays with energies <100. keV while the discrepancy increases (up to 5%) for the isopropanol gel dosimeter over the same energy range. For x-ray beams over the energy range 180. keV-18. MV, both gel dosimeters have less than 2% discrepancy with water. For megavoltage electron beams, the dose differences with water reach 7% and 14% for the co-solvent free gel dosimeter and the isopropanol gel dosimeter, respectively. Our results demonstrate that for x-ray beam dosimetry with photon energies higher than 100. keV and megavoltage electron beams, correction factors are needed for both NIPAM gels to be used as water equivalent dosimeters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalRadiation Physics and Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Monte Carlo
  • NIPAM based gel
  • Radiological properties
  • Three dimensional dosimetry
  • Water equivalency
  • X-ray CT


Dive into the research topics of 'Water equivalence of NIPAM based polymer gel dosimeters with enhanced sensitivity for x-ray CT'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this