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Does mechanical pressure on radiochromic film affect optical absorption and dosimetry?

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Abstract

EBT Gafchromic film, a new high sensitivity radiochromic film has been tested to evaluate if external pressure on the film can affect absorption spectra analysis and thus radiation dosimetry. This question arises from the fact that Gafchromic film is often cut into smaller pieces or to certain shapes for dosimetric analysis using scissors which can apply significant pressure to the sides of the film and small film pieces are placed within a solid phantom at depth which can produce significant pressure on the film if appropriate weight distribution procedures are not performed. As expected, results have shown that films cut by scissors can produce a large increase in OD near the film edge up to 5–10 mm away due to physical damage to the EBT film layers. Films placed within a solid phantom receiving up to 39.5 kg/cm2 pressure showed negligible differences in measured absorption spectra compared with control films subject to no external pressure. This equates to negligible external pressure effects for as much as 44 cm of 30 cm × 30 cm solid water placed on a 1 cm2 area film piece. As such, we recommend based on results herein, that film analysis should be performed with a boundary around every film edge, which can be defined visually based in the film. Also film dosimetry in a phantom can be performed with weights up to 39.5 kg/cm2 (or 44 cm of 30 cm × 30 cm solid water or equivalent) placed on the film without effecting the absorption spectra and thus dosimetry of radiation beams.

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Correspondence to M. Butson.

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Yu, P.K.N., Butson, M. & Cheung, T. Does mechanical pressure on radiochromic film affect optical absorption and dosimetry?. Australas. Phys. Eng. Sci. Med. 29, 285–287 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03178580

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Key words

  • gafchromic EBT
  • radiochromic film
  • densitometry
  • pressure