WE-D-BRF-01: FEATURED PRESENTATION – Investigating Particle Track Structures Using Fluorescent Nuclear Track Detectors and Monte Carlo Simulations




To report on the efforts funded by the AAPM seed funding grant to develop the basis for fluorescent nuclear track detector (FNTD) based radiobiological experiments in combination with dedicated Monte Carlo simulations (MCS) on the nanometer scale.


Two confocal microscopes were utilized in this study. Two FNTD samples were used to find the optimal microscope settings, one FNTD irradiated with 11.1 MeV/u Gold ions and one irradiated with 428.77 MeV/u Carbon ions. The first sample provided a brightly luminescent central track while the latter is used to test the capabilities to observe secondary electrons. MCS were performed using TOPAS beta9 version, layered on top of Geant4.9.6p02. Two sets of simulations were performed, one with the Geant4-DNA physics list and approximating the FNTDs by water, a second set using the Penelope physics list in a water-approximated FNTD and a aluminum-oxide FNTD.


Within the first half of the funding period, we have successfully established readout capabilities of FNTDs at our institute. Due to technical limitations, our microscope setup is significantly different from the approach implemented at the DKFZ, Germany. However, we can clearly reconstruct Carbon tracks in 3D with electron track resolution of 200 nm. A second microscope with superior readout capabilities will be tested in the second half of the funding period, we expect an improvement in signal to background ratio with the same the resolution.We have successfully simulated tracks in FNTDs. The more accurate Geant4-DNA track simulations can be used to reconstruct the track energy from the size and brightness of the observed tracks.


We have achieved the goals set in the seed funding proposal: the setup of FNTD readout and simulation capabilities. We will work on improving the readout resolution to validate our MCS track structures down to the nanometer scales.