Diego Dominguez-Ramirez, “Making of Tissue-Mimicking Gelatin for Aiding in Thermoacoustic Emission Analysis from Particle Beam”
Mentor: Sarah Patch, Physics
Particle therapy is used in special facilities around the world to treat cancer. This method employs accelerated charged particles to deliver efficient and controlled clinical plans to patients. With the aid of acoustic sensors, clinical plans can be analyzed via thermoacoustic emissions from the particle beam during stages of the procedure. The purpose of this project was to create gelatin models that captured anatomical features and could be put in front of the beam. As a substitute for patients, these gelatin models could be put through a variety of clinical plans, thus testing the emission-detecting equipment. In particular, mimicking fatty tissue and muscle-fat interfaces was desired. Once muscle-fat interfaces could be repeatedly fabricated, cavities were created in the interior muscle. Cavities could be left empty, filled with fluids, or filled with bone-mimicking material. The next step was to scale the process from a 500 mL sample to a 4.2 liter sample. As a final step, the stoichiometry for the sample was computed and added to a material library for Monte Carlo modeling. Through this program charged particles are modeled as they come to stop in a target. In the fall of last year, the gelatin model was put in front of a beam. During delivery of a clinical treatment plan, a 4-channel thermoacoustic system could track motion of the charged particle beam as it treated different parts of the gelatin model.