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TitleRadiation field shaping through low temperature thermal-spray in radiotheraphy
AuthorVan der Walt, Jacobus Gert
SubjectCentral University of Technology, Free State - Dissertations
SubjectShielding (Radiation)
SubjectRadiotherapy - Safety measures
SubjectAlloys - Thermal properties
SubjectDiagnostic imaging - Safety measures
SubjectRadiation dosimetry
SubjectSkin - Cancer - Treatment
SubjectBreast - Cancer - Treatment
SubjectDissertations, academic - South Africa - Bloemfontein
SubjectThermal spray
Format14 909 622 bytes
AbstractThesis (D. Tech.) -- Central University of Technology, Free State, 2009
AbstractSuperficial cancerous lesions are commonly treated through low energy X-ray or electron radiation in radiotherapy. The treatment units that produce the radiation are equipped with square, rectangular and round applicators of different sizes. These applicators attach to the treatment units and define the radiation field size applied during treatment. An applicator is chosen to fit the shape of the cancerous lesion on the patient as closely as possible. Since cancerous lesions are irregular in shape, there will always be an area of healthy tissue between the edge of the lesion and the edge of the standard field shape. This healthy tissue will be irradiated along with the lesion during treatment which is undesirable since the cancer wound heals through reparative growth of the surrounding healthy tissue after treatment. Traditional techniques that were developed to shield this healthy tissue and thus shape the radiation field to the shape of the lesion present various shortcomings. This study introduces a new thermal-spray process for producing radiation field shaping shields which overcomes most of the shortcomings encountered with the traditional field shaping techniques. Since none of the commercially available thermal-spray equipment could be used to produce field shaping shields, new thermal-spray equipment was designed and fabricated tailor made to the application. Different techniques to determine the contours of the treatment area on the patient were investigated. These included a patient contact technique using a plaster bandage impression and a non-contact technique using 3D laser scanning. From the plaster bandage impression a plaster model can be produced onto which a high density low melt material such as Wood’ s alloy can be thermally sprayed to produce a field shaping mask. A model can also be produced from the 3D laser scanning data through laser sintering (LS) in nylon polyamide powder or through computer numerical controlled (CNC) milling in a block of low density polyurethane. The thermal-spray technique was evaluated by comparing the field shaping ability of radiation shields produced through the technique to the field shaping ability of shields produced through the traditional techniques. Radiographic film was used for this purpose and the results are presented in the form of isodensity charts. The required thicknesses of thermal-sprayed field shaping masks to shield radiation of various energies were also determined. The thicknesses were determined through radiation transmission measurements of known thicknesses of sprayed sheets of Wood’ s alloy. X-ray imaging showed that there were no defects present within thermal-sprayed layers of Wood’ s alloy that may negatively affect the shielding ability of masks produced through the technique.
PublisherBloemfontein : Central University of Technology, Free State