SU-F-BRA-16: Development of a Radiation Monitoring Device Using a Low-Cost CCD Camera Following Radionuclide Therapy




It is now commonplace to handle treatments of hyperthyroidism using iodine-131 as an outpatient procedure due to lower costs and less stringent federal regulations. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has currently updated release guidelines for these procedures, but there is still a large uncertainty in the dose to the public. Current guidelines to minimize dose to the public require patients to remain isolated after treatment. The purpose of this study was to use a low-cost common device, such as a cell phone, to estimate exposure emitted from a patient to the general public.


Measurements were performed using an Apple iPhone 3GS and a Cs-137 irradiator. The charge-coupled device (CCD) camera on the phone was irradiated to exposure rates ranging from 0.1 mR/hr to 100 mR/hr and 30-sec videos were taken during irradiation with the camera lens covered by electrical tape. Interactions were detected as white pixels on a black background in each video. Both single threshold (ST) and colony counting (CC) methods were performed using MATLAB®. Calibration curves were determined by comparing the total pixel intensity output from each method to the known exposure rate.


The calibration curve showed a linear relationship above 5 mR/hr for both analysis techniques. The number of events counted per unit exposure rate within the linear region was 19.5 ± 0.7 events/mR and 8.9 ± 0.4 events/mR for the ST and CC methods respectively.


Two algorithms were developed and show a linear relationship between photons detected by a CCD camera and low exposure rates, in the range of 5 mR/hr to 100-mR/hr. Future work aims to refine this model by investigating the dose-rate and energy dependencies of the camera response. This algorithm allows for quantitative monitoring of exposure from patients treated with iodine-131 using a simple device outside of the hospital.