Scientists have developed plastic collimators that can replace their metal analogs used in radiation therapy. The team focused on the exact characteristics of the desired product, its development, and testing. The study will be beneficial for both medicine and everyone who is interested in the effect of radiation on plastic products.

Plastic collimator samples. (Credit: Tomsk Polytechnic University)

The researchers used a numerical model to study HIPS- and ABS-plastic capability to completely absorb an electron beam. Then, they used this plastic to manufacture the first products through the method of layer-by-layer deposition. One of the important points of the study was to choose the required thickness of the printed collimator.

Metal collimators should be 1.6 cm thick to absorb the beam but, unlike metal, plastic does not have the same density and a number of other characteristics. They conducted a number of calculations and experiments to determine the thickness of a plastic product. For instance, they used special dosimeters, placed inside the plastic, to measure the depth distribution of the electron beam.

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Medical Design Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2020 issue of Medical Design Briefs Magazine.

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