Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.
Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: Empa, Laboratory for Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles; Kantonsspital St. Gallen, Department of Radiation Oncology
Project no: GRS-010/18
Amount of funding: CHF 223'000
Duration: 05.2019 - 10.2020
Area of activity:
Pilotprojekte, 1998 - 2018
Dr. Luciano F. Boesel
9014 St. Gallen (Schweiz)
- luciano.boesel@empa. ch
Radiation therapy (RT) is one of the main therapies for cancer treatment. An overall cancer cure rate of approximately 50% is presently achievable. From those, 50% of curable cases need RT as part of the treatment regimen. The exact amount of radiation and the correct spatial distribution of radiation dose in a cancer patient are absolutely crucial for a successful therapy and represent a strong focus in modern medical physics. Unfortunately, current systems used to measure those quantities (electronic detector arrays or film detectors) are inaccurate (low spatial resolution, low dose sensitivity, low dose distribution resolution), present properties which depend on irradiation energy, and/or require complex steps of correction/development during use.
The aim of our project is to develop a simple, yet highly accurate film dosimetry detector system to be used during RT. Our approach will rely on recent advances in microfluidics and smart, optically-responsive polymers to develop films with high sensitivity and improved signal quality. A high-speed coating technique (spin coating) will be used to guarantee production of highly homogeneous thin films. Moreover, the recent developments in medical physics will be used to design an innovative analysis and data processing methodology for RT. The Radiopol project is a collaboration among material scientists of Empa and a medical physicist of KSSG. The successful completion of this project will have significant impacts for the whole society in terms of improved treatment of cancer patients, reduction of cancer-related healthcare costs, and promotion of the economic landscape of Switzerland.
What is special about the project?
Our originality lies in the application of concepts that are new in the field of radiation sensitive poly-mers, including the use of 2 techniques that are at the forefront of Mater. Sci., namely, microfluidic wet spinning processing and optically responsive polymers. Our innovation should be implemented in the market for ionizing radiation dosimetry, overcoming the weak link between the sole provider of radiochromic films with the medical physics community. It is a technological development, which will lead to the creation of a knowledge-intensive start-up. Ultimately, our films should bring benefit to society, the healthcare system, and the economy of Switzerland. We will promote a more personalized, safe, precise and cost effective use of ionizing radiation.
We have recently collaborated on a small project (financed internally by Empa and KSSG) related to this proposal. It served as a "proof-of-concept" to screen different scenarios and establish the most promising directions to pursue further research. In that "proof-of-concept" we investigated a range of coating techniques; we also worked on chemical modification of the active monomer. Although promising, the results clearly show the need for more intense research on both materials as well as physical aspects of dosimetry films and RT. This will be the objective of the present project.
In the first half of Radiopol, we concentrated our efforts on investigating in detail the coating technique in order to obtain films with the desired morphology as well as response to ionizing radiation. We managed to increase the sensitivity of the film and understand how to steer the process. We also synthesized alternative molecules that may have enhanced sensitivity when compared to the state-of-the-art. We obtained films whose sensitivity to 2Gy radiation could grant their use in radiochromic films. This will be evaluated in the second half of Radiopol.
None so far
None so far
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 30.07.2021