Sci-Sat AM: Radiation Dosimetry and Practical Therapy Solutions - 02: Dosimetric effects of gold nanoparticle surface coatings

Authors

  • Koger Brandon,

    1. Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Alberta, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Alberta and Oncology; Dept. of Medical Physics, Jack Ady Cancer Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta
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  • Kirkby Charles

    1. Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Alberta, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Alberta and Oncology; Dept. of Medical Physics, Jack Ady Cancer Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta
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Abstract

Introduction:

Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) can enhance radiation therapy within a tumour, increasing local energy deposition under irradiation, but experimental evidence suggests the enhancement is not as large as predicted by dose enhancement alone. Many studies neglect to account for surface coatings that are frequently used to optimize GNP uptake and biological distribution. This study uses Monte Carlo methods to investigate the consequences on local dose enhancement due to including these surface coatings.

Methods:

Using the PENELOPE Monte Carlo code system, GNP irradiation was simulated both with and without surface coatings of polyethylene glycol (PEG) of various molecular weights. Dose was scored to the gold, coating, and surrounding water, and the dosimetric differences between these scenarios were examined.

Results:

The simulated PEG coating absorbs a large portion of the energy that would otherwise be deposited in the medium. The mean dose to water was reduced by up to 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5% for GNPs of diameters 50, 20, and 10 nm, respectively. This effect was more pronounced for smaller GNPs, thicker coatings, and low photon source energies where the enhancement due to GNPs is the greatest. The molecular weight of the coating material did not have a significant impact on the dose.

Conclusions:

The inclusion of a coating material in GNP enhanced radiation may reduce the dose enhancement due to the nanoparticles. Both the composition and size of the coating play a role in the level of this reduction and should be considered carefully.

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