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# 3: Interaction of ionizing radiation with matter

Download Presentation ## 3: Interaction of ionizing radiation with matter

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1. 3: Interaction of ionizing radiation with matter • What is the basis of contrast for x-ray imaging ? • By which mechanisms does ionizing radiation interact with matter ? Rayleigh scattering Compton scattering Photoelectric effect Pair production • How does this interaction depend on the tissue ? Energy dependence and effective atomic number Zeff • How can we protect ourselves against the biological effects of ionizing radiation ? A radiation protection primer • After this course you • Know the definition of linear and mass attenuation coefficient • Understand the major mechanism of x-ray absorption in tissue • Understand the dependence of these mechanisms on photon energy and tissue composition • Are able to perform contrast-to-noise calculations using effective Z • Understand and are able to apply the basic principles of radiation protection

2. Imaging using x-rays moskito Transgenic mice Evolution of a malaria-infected red blood cell http://www.cxro.lbl.gov/BL612/bioimaging.html H1N1 What do we need for bio-imaging ? Contrast, i.e. absorption of x-rays

3. 3-1. How can we describe attenuation of x-rays? Linear attenuation coefficientm • Fates of the photon (other than transmission): • Absorption (transfer of hn to lattice) • Scattering Consider situation where Dx→0, and n=f(x) n-Dn n Solution ? (provided µ is constant in x ) Dx Definition Half value layer (HVL)  The thickness of a material allowing to pass one half of photons:n(xHVL) = N0/2 Photons are removed according to probability law: The number of absorbed/scattered photons Dn in a layer with thickness of Dx μ : linear attenuation coefficientUnit: [cm-1] µ=f(En,Z, r) Typical HVL values: several cm for tissues, 1-2 cm for aluminum, 0.3 cm for lead

4. What are typical attenuation coefficients ? m/r (water) = m/r (ice) Definition Mass attenuation coefficientm/r Unit : [cm2/g] (constant for all forms of the same chemical substance, e.g. water) Why do we need more sunscreen in the mountains ?

5. 3-2. What are the 4 basic interactions of x-rays with biological tissue ?I. Rayleigh scattering l>> rscatterer Strong l dependence: short l more scattered Elastic scattering of light or other electromagnetic radiation by particles much smaller than the wavelength of the light,x = 2πr/λ; x << 1. Elastic: photon energy = constant No ionization occurs ("classical" scattering) Scattered X-rays  deleterious effect on image quality very low probability (< 5%) in x-ray imaging Blue sky, red sunset (smog, humidity) Rayleigh and cloud-mediated scattering contribute to diffuse light l=1.2/E= 0.012nm (@100keV) E(keV)=1.2/l(nm)

6. II. Compton scattering E binding energy is neglected (why?) Nonelasticλinc< λscat Pe,free electron Ee,bound f X-ray q En,inc Pn,inc En,scat Pn,scat scattered X-ray Arthur Holly Compton Physics, 1927 • Probability increases with • photon energy • electron density • Electron/mass density in tissues ~ constant (independent of Z)→ proportional to the density of the material Occurs at the outer shell electrons  ionization Scattered photon: subject to subsequent interactions(Rayleigh, Compton scattering or photoelectric effect)

7. pf pi pe' θ Relativistic linear momentuma brief tour back to 1st year physics • From the definition pmv(which is true at any velocity) it follows • The value of p is NB. Light carries energy, but moves at the speed of light (!) c. Photon with energy E:particle with rest mass (m0=0) (otherwise its energy would be infinite, since v=c) : Relativistic kinetic energy E=m(v)c2 q -

8. Compton scatteringThe basic Equations A simple elastic collision: Conservation of energy Ee = (Ei – Ef) + mec2 Ei+mec2 = Ef + Ee before after Conservation of linear momentum: Withl=c/n E=hc/l it follows: before after Ef is Maximal if q=0: Efmax = Ei Minimal, if q=p: Ei=mec2 :

9. III. Photoelectric effect Photoelectric absorption effect: Abruptly increases when E is slightly above IK – absorption edges Absorption edge energy increases with Z(very low for H, C, N, O) Inner shell e- is removed  energy of the incident X-ray quantum Ei > ionization energy of an electron IK Vacancy in K-shell: filled with outer shell e  cascade of emitting characteristic X-ray quanta (or Auger electrons, but not so frequent in diagnostic imaging of soft tissues with low Z) Albert Einstein Physics, 1921

10. What is the relative contribution of x-ray scattering mechanisms ?in soft tissue IV. Pair production • When the photon energy > 2mec2 = 1.02MeV • It interacts with the electric field of the nucleus of an atom • n e- + e+ • The kinetic energy of the produced particles is • E = En - 2mec2 µ Not important in Bio-imaging x-ray (CT, SPECT) PET

11. 3-3. What affects the Linear attenuation coefficient of water ? effective Z, Zeff mC(En) re f(En) mPE(Z, En) re(En) Zeff3.4/En3.1 Linear attenuation coefficient of water and the contribution of each interaction to the total attenuation of X-rays as a function of energy. • Compton: • depends mainly on the e density re • modestly on energy of x-rays En • Photoelectric effect: • depends strongly on atomic number Z Biology: empirical Zeff

12. What is the effective atomic number Zeff of biological tissue ? Necessary for estimating μ of the photoelectric effect Example: Estimation of Zeff for water 1H: Z=A=1, P=11%, Empirical relationship for compound materials such as biological tissue: 16O: Z=8, A=16, P=89% Denominator of l : Protons:l= 11/55.5=0.20 Oxygen: l= 44.5/55.5=0.80. Zeff=(0.2∙13.4+0.8∙83.4)1/3.4=(0.2+1180∙0.8) 1/3.4 =9441/3.4=7.5 How good were we ? P : percentage weight Z : atomic number A : atomic weight

13. What is the % Mass Composition Pi of select biological tissues ? Zeff ~ 6 7.4 12 Carbon: Z/A=6/12 (same for O, 8/16)

14. What are X-ray contrast agents ? Exogenously administered substance (by infusion/ingestion) modifying Zeff use high Z compounds e.g., compounds with multiple iodine atoms, lanthanides etc. Calculation of Zeff: ~ denominator l of pure H2O Denominator of l : → l of H and O are as for water: lH=0.2 lO=0.8 944 690 Zeff of (water+10 mmol/kg iodine) = ? µPE(H2O)  944 Iodine: PI = 10[mmol/kg]127[mg/mmol] = 0.127% ZI = 53 AI = 127 µPE Zeff3.4 µPE(H2O+I)  1650

15. Biological effects are delayed: • Cataract (months to years) • Cancer (years-decades) 3-4. What are the biological effects of ionizing radiation ? • Ionization effects: instantaneous (10-17-10-5s) • Produce free radicals • Break chemical bonds • Produce new chemical bonds and cross-linkage between macromolecules • Damage molecules that regulate vital cell processes (e.g. DNA, RNA, proteins) • Tissue sensitivity to radiation • proportional: rate of cell proliferation inversely prop.: degree of cell differentiation Pregnancy vs. old age … 10-17-10-5s months-years Blood-forming organs Reproductive organs Skin Bone and teeth Muscle Nervous system sensitivity Defense exists! produced by the body (e.g. oxygen consumption) Radicals (unpaired valence e-) and reactive oxygen species, e.g. 2 OH·−> H2O2

16. How does the tissue defend itself against radiation damage ? DNA repair Direct Indirect Healing Regeneration Replace damaged cells by same Organ returned to original state Radiosensitive tissues (skin, digestive system, bone marrow) Repair Replace damaged cells with different cell type (fibrosis) Organ not returned to original state Radioresistant tissues (muscle, brain): only repair possible

17. How are the effects of ionizing radiation quantified ?Three forms of radiation dose • Absorbed dose D: • energy deposited by ionizing radiation per unit mass of material: D = Energy/mass Units: [Gray[Gy]=1J/kg] • Equivalent dose H: • = D corrected for effectiveness of radiation to produce biological damage (wR = radiation weighting factor) H = DwR Units:[Sievert[Sv] = 1J/kg] • Effective dose E : • H corrected for sensitivity of tissue T(wT = tissue weigting factor) • Absorbed dose D depends on • Intensity of incident x-ray • Duration of exposure wR = 1 (x-rays, b particles) [20: for a particles] Bio-imaging: Equivalent dose D = Absorbed dose H

18. What can we do to protect us against x-rays ?Exposure time, distance and HVL • Absorbed dose depends on intensity I0 of radiation (activity in Bq for radioactive materials) • 1 Becquerel [(Bq) = 1 decay/s] • Occupancy: • fraction of time of working day (8h), human is in area exposed to radiation • NB. b-emitters (14C, 3H): • e- do not penetrate low Z material (plastic, glass, avoids Bremsstrahlung) • high energy β-emitters (32P): low Z shielding + lead (attenuate Bremsstrahlung) • Three basic elements of radioprotection: • Time • Distance • Shielding Received radiation = Fraction of solid angle occupied by human surface A = A/4pd2 ~ I0/d2 (d=distance to source) 10-fold reduction: 5 10 20 100 cm Iron Depends on energy and type of radiation Water Lead Concrete Half-value layers

19. What are typical radiation exposures ?Natural, artificial and some examples Useful to know: 100 Röntgen equivalent man (REM) = 1 Sievert http://newnet.lanl.gov/info/dosecalc.asp http://www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/calculate.html

20. Appendix: Derivationof the Compton Relationship • Situation:A photon with energy Ei collides with e of mass me at rest. One wants to know the energy of the photon after the collision. Conservation of energy Conservation of momentum: Ee = (Ei – Ef) + mec2 Ee2 = (Ei- Ef)2 + (mec2)2 + 2(Ei- Ef) mec2 pe2c2 +(mec2)2 = (Ei- Ef)2 + (mec2)2 + 2(Ei- Ef) mec2 pe2c2 = (Ei- Ef)2 + 2(Ei- Ef) mec2 pe2c2 = Ei2 + Ef2 – 2EiEf + 2(Ei- Ef) mec2 -2EiEf + 2(Ei- Ef) mec2 = -2EiEfcosq QED EiEf - (Ei- Ef) mec2 = EiEfcosq q EiEf + Efmec2 - EiEfcosq= Ei mec2 - Ef (Ei + mec2 – Eicosq)= Ei mec2