TH-CD-201-06: Experimental Characterization of Acoustic Signals Generated in Water Following Clinical Photon and Electron Beam Irradiation




Previous work has demonstrated the detectability of acoustic waves induced following the irradiation of high density metals with radiotherapy linac photon beams. This work demonstrates the ability to experimentally detect such acoustic signals following both photon and electron irradiation in a more radiotherapy relevant material. The relationship between induced acoustic signal properties in water and the deposited dose distribution is explored, and the feasibility of exploiting such signals for radiotherapy dosimetry is demonstrated.


Acoustic waves were experimentally induced in a water tank via the thermoacoustic effect following a single pulse of photon or electron irradiation produced by a clinical linac. An immersion ultrasound transducer was used to detect these acoustic waves in water and signals were read out on an oscilloscope.


Peaks and troughs in the detected acoustic signals were found to correspond to the location of gradients in the deposited dose distribution following both photon and electron irradiation. Signal amplitude was linearly related to the dose per pulse deposited by photon or electron beams at the depth of detection. Flattening filter free beams induced large acoustic signals, and signal amplitude decreased with depth after the depth of maximum dose. Varying the field size resulted in a temporal shift of the acoustic signal peaks and a change in the detected signal frequency.


Acoustic waves can be detected in a water tank following irradiation by linac photon and electron beams with basic electronics, and have characteristics related to the deposited dose distribution. The physical location of dose gradients and the amount of dose deposited can be inferred from the location and magnitude of acoustic signal peaks. Thus, the detection of induced acoustic waves could be applied to photon and electron water tank and in vivo dosimetry.

This work was supported in part by CIHR grants MOP-114910 and MOP-136774. S.H. acknowledges support by the NSERC CREATE Medical Physics Research Training Network grant 432290.