Hadsell, Michael John. The Development and Characterization of a First Generation Carbon Nanotube X-ray Based Microbeam Radiation Therapy System. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013. https://doi.org/10.17615/nrtz-qb44
Hadsell, M. (2013). The Development and Characterization of a First Generation Carbon Nanotube X-ray Based Microbeam Radiation Therapy System. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. https://doi.org/10.17615/nrtz-qb44
Hadsell, Michael John. 2013. The Development and Characterization of a First Generation Carbon Nanotube X-Ray Based Microbeam Radiation Therapy System. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. https://doi.org/10.17615/nrtz-qb44
Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) is a new type of cancer treatment currently being studied at scattered synchrotron sites throughout the world. It has been shown to be capable of ablating aggressive brain tumors in rats while almost completely sparing the surrounding normal tissue. This promising technique has yet to find its way to the clinic, however, because the radiobiological mechanisms behind its efficacy are still largely unknown. This is partly due to the lack of a compact device that could facilitate more large scale research. The challenges inherent to creating a compact device lie within the structure of MRT, which uses parallel arrays of ultra high-dose, orthovoltage, microplanar beams on the order of 100μm thick and separated by four to ten times their width. Because of focal spot limitations, current commercial orthovoltage devices are simply not capable of creating such arrays at dose rates high enough for effective treatment while maintaining the microbeam pattern necessary to retain the high therapeutic ratio of the technique. Therefore, the development of a compact MRT device using carbon nanotube (CNT) cathode based X–ray technology is presented here. CNT cathodes have been shown to be capable of creating novel focal spot arrays on a single anode while being robust enough for long-term use in X-ray tubes. Using these cathodes, an X–ray tube with a single focal line has been created for the delivery of MRT dose distributions in radiobiological studies on small animals. In this work, the development process and final design of this specialized device will be detailed, along with the optimization and stabilization of its use for small animal studies. In addition, a detailed characterization of its final capabilities will be given; including a comprehensive measurement of its X–ray focal line dimensions, a description and evaluation of its collimator alignment and microbeam dimensions, and a full-scale phantom-based quantification of its dosimetric output. Finally, future project directions will be described briefly along with plans for a second generation device. Based on the results of this work, it is the author’s belief that compact CNT MRT devices have definite commercialization potential for radiobiological research.