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NMR relaxation enhancement in gels polymerized and cross-linked by ionizing radiation: a new approach to 3D dosimetry by MRI.


A new type of tissue-equivalent medium for magnetic resonance imaging of the dose distributions produced by ionizing radiation has been developed. Agarose gel is infused with acrylamide and N,N'-methylene-bis-acrylamide (Bis) comonomers, which are readily polymerized by free radical initiators in de-aerated aqueous solutions. Polymerization and cross-linking induced locally by free radical products of water radiolysis increase the rate of water proton spin relaxation gradually up to doses of about 15 Gy. The slopes of the dose-response curves at 64 MHz are 0.015 and 0.28 s-1 Gy-1 for R1 and R2, respectively. The agarose matrix as well as the high (50% by weight) relative concentration of the cross-linker (Bis) per total comonomer limit the spread of polymerization so that the spatial distribution of the radiation dose is faithfully represented in the resultant spatial distribution of relaxation rates. The gel can be imaged with conventional magnetic resonance imaging devices with high spatial resolution and accuracy. In addition, due to the well established effect of the precipitation of insoluble agglomerates of highly cross-linked acrylamide, the optical turbidity of the gel increases gradually with the absorbed dose. This may provide an additional means of visualizing the dose distribution in three dimensions. The major advantage of the acrylamide-Bis-agarose gels over those that depend on ionic chemical dosimeters, for example, Fricke-infused gels, lies in the lack of diffusion of radiation-induced chemical changes subsequent to or concurrent with irradiation.

Authors+Show Affiliations


Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510.

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Magnetic resonance imaging 11:2 1993 pg 253-8


Cross-Linking Reagents
Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
Film Dosimetry
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Models, Structural
Nitrous Oxide
Radiation Dosage
Radiation, Ionizing

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.



PubMed ID