The practical use of the PRESAGE® solid plastic dosimeter is limited by the inconvenience of immersing it in high-viscosity oils to achieve refractive index matching for optical computed tomography (CT) scanning. The oils are slow to mix and difficult to clean from surfaces, and the dosimeter rotation can generate dynamic Schlieren inhomogeneity patterns in the reference liquid, limiting the rotational and overall scan speed. Therefore, it would be beneficial if lower-viscosity, water-based solutions with slightly unmatched refractive index could be used instead. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate the feasibility of allowing mismatched conditions when using a scanning laser system with a large acceptance angle detector. A fiducial-based ray path measurement technique is combined with an iterative CT reconstruction algorithm to reconstruct images.
A water based surrounding liquid with a low viscosity was selected for imaging PRESAGE® solid dosimeters. Liquid selection was optimized to achieve as high a refractive index as possible while avoiding rotation-induced Schlieren effects. This led to a refractive index mismatch of 6% between liquid and dosimeters. Optical CT scans were performed with a fan-beam scanning-laser optical CT system with a large area detector to capture most of the refracted rays. A fiducial marker placed on the wall of a cylindrical sample occludes a given light ray twice. With knowledge of the rotation angle and the radius of the cylindrical object, the actual internal path of each ray through the dosimeter can be calculated. Scans were performed with 1024 projections of 512 data samples each, and rays were rebinned to form 512 parallel-beam projections. Reconstructions were performed on a 512 × 512 grid using 100 iterations of the SIRT iterative CT algorithm. Proof of concept was demonstrated with a uniformly attenuating solution phantom. PRESAGE® dosimeters (11 cm diameter) were irradiated with Cobalt-60 irradiator to achieve either a uniform dose or a 2-level “step-dose” pattern.
With 6% refractive index mismatching, a circular field of view of 85% of the diameter of a cylindrical sample can be reconstructed accurately. Reconstructed images of the test solution phantom were uniform (within 3%) inside this radius. However, the dose responses of the PRESAGE® samples were not spatially uniform, with variations of at least 5% in sensitivity. The variation appears as a “cupping” artifact with less sensitivity in the middle than at the periphery of the PRESAGE® cylinder. Polarization effects were also detected for these samples.
The fiducial-based ray path measurement scheme, coupled with an iterative reconstruction algorithm, enabled optical CT scanning of PRESAGE® dosimeters immersed in mismatched refractive index solutions. However, improvements to PRESAGE® dose response uniformity are required.