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New tungsten - polymer composite material for patient`s normal tissue protection during low

and medium energy radiation therapy

Svarca A.1, Boka G.1, Bikova S.1, Dekhtyar Y.3, Bauman Y.1,2, Bruveris A.1
1
Riga East University Hospital, Clinic of Therapeutic Radiology and Medical Physics, Riga, Latvia
2
Latvian Inventors Association, Riga, Latvia
3
Riga Technical University, Riga, Latvia

Introduction. In this work we studied the composite material (tungsten and ceresin) absorption and
scattering characteristics, as well as it comparison with until now used Bi-Sn-Pb compound. This
idea was adopted to simplify protective mask manufacturing process. New plastic tungsten micro-
and nanoparticle structured composite material was developed. The great advantage of tungsten is
no toxicity compared to the previously in metal masks used lead.
Today radiation therapy as a treatment method occupies an increasingly important role.
Consequently, there are also growing demand for more precise treatment - sufficiently large dose of
radiation for target volume and at the same time damaging healthy tissue structures as little as
possible. Electrons are the particles that are generally used in routine clinics [1]. In more complex
cases for electron treatments, when it is necessary to protect the tumor intact organs, but they are
located too close to the target, amount of exposure to healthy tissue is inevitable. In these cases
additionally metal masks of alloy Bi-Pb-Sn material are used. They have a high absorption and
relatively low dispersion but the manufacturing process of this shielding material is long and
complex as well as lead, of course, is a toxic material.
Purpose. Protective materials used in radiation therapy must be completely homogeneous to
provide equal radiation absorption everywhere in the material. The aim of study was to investigate
the homogeneity of synthesized composite material with tungsten (W) micro- and nanoparticles,
depending on the material mixing methods, particle size and concentration. As well as to explore
the composite radiation weakening properties.
Materials and Methods. Base of the material was polymer (sort of wax). The tungsten micro- and
nanoparticles were added and mixed after polymer melted. Nanoparticles in liquid have a tendency
to agglutinate (the formation of agglomerates) what is the reason of inhomogeneities in material.
For homogeneity detection specimens were prepared with special care, as the scanning electron
microscope was used in measurements. To analyse substrate very thin material layer was smeared
[3]. The composite which showed the best homogeneity properties was used for further radiation
absorption property research
Results. It was observed that the tendency to form agglomerates (particle clusters) becomes greater
as tungsten particle size decreases. The best particle distribution uniformity in the composite was
obtained with ultrasound (US) disperser. Most significant radiation absorption properties were
observed for the samples with smaller particle size (500 nm and 50 nm) [3].
The research showed that tungsten structured composite material can be effective and safe for
protection of the patient against medium and low energy radiation but further analysis is needed for
the composite structure evaluation. The study results were very promising and clearly demonstrated
superiority of this compound. It was discovered that composite material structured with small
tungsten particles can be used for radiation protection in radiation therapy as radiation absorption
features of material was affordable for electron radiation energies 4, 6, 9 and 12 MeV (Transmission
factor 0.34-2.66%) [2].
Keywords. Composite, tungsten, radiation therapy, low (medium) energy beam.
References.
1. M. Beyzadeoglu, G. Ozyigit, C. Ebruli Basic Radiation Oncology. Springer; 2010, p11
2. G. Boka, E. Reine, A. Svarca, M. Kuzminskis, S. Bikova, Y. Bauman, Y. Dekhtyar
Absorption and scatter properties of tungsten structured composite material. ENCY2015,
Budapest, May 28 - 30, 2015
3. varca A. Synthesized composite with tungsten nanoparticles for radiation protection in
radiotherapy. Masters work, 2014