Purpose: To describe the design and dosimetric characterization of a simple and economical small animal irradiator. Materials and methods: A high dose rate (HDR) 192Ir brachytherapy source from a commercially available afterloader was used with a 1.3 cm thick tungsten collimator to provide sharp beam penumbra suitable for hemi-brain irradiation of mice. The unit was equipped with continuous gas anesthesia to allow robust animal immobilization. Dosimetric characterization of the device was performed with Gafchromic film measurements. Results: The tungsten collimator provided a sharp penumbra suitable for hemi-brain irradiation, and dose rates on the order of 200 cGy/minute were achieved. The sharpness of the penumbra attainable with this device compares favorably to those measured experimentally for 6 MV photons, and 6 and 20 MeV electron beams from a linear accelerator, and was comparable to those measured for a 300 kVp orthovoltage beam and a Monte Carlo simulated 90 MeV proton beam. Conclusions: Due to its simplicity and low cost, the apparatus described is an attractive alternative for small animal irradiation experiments requiring steep dose gradients.
- Iridium-192 HDR
- Small animal irradiator
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging