National Physical Laboratory

ServicesRadiation Dosimetry

We provide world-class research, calibrations, specialised measurement services and training for the dosimetry of ionising radiation in cancer therapy, diagnostics and industrial sterilisation for medicine and pharmaceutics.

Videos

Electron tree creation on NPL’s research linac
The interior of Plexiglas samples are irradiated by...

Micro Video ThumbRadiation Dosimetry
Julia Snaith on Radiation Dosimetry

Current Research

  • Graphite calorimeters are the primary standards for absorbed dose at NPL.
  • In collaboration with the Maastro Clinic, Maastricht, Netherlands, NPL is developing a novel method of dosimetry using an Electronic Portal Imaging Device, a device found mounted on most clinical linacs used in hospitals for the treatment of cancer by radiotherapy.
  • Proton and ion beams exhibit better dose characteristics than x-rays for radiotherapy.

News

Accurate dosimetry in radiotherapy is essential to realise its main aim, i.e. to eradicate a cancer whilst minimising the risk of severe side effects due to the unavoidable irradiation of healthy tissues and organs. In industrial irradiators for sterilisation of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, the need for accurate dosimetry is also governed by two opposing requirements: achieving legal tolerance levels for microbiological contamination whilst minimising the economic cost.

Our group provides dosimetry traceable to in-house primary standards for these applications using dedicated facilities such as a clinical linac and high-dose irradiators as well as specialised Monte Carlo simulation tools. We perform research to develop new dosimetric capabilities following up the rapidly expanding variety of radiotherapy technologies like stereotactic and rotational therapies as well as for emerging modalities like proton and carbon ion therapy. At the forefront of research in our field we contribute to the development of:

  • new dosimetric concepts that are more closely related to the biological effects of ionising radiation by building and investigating novel micro- and nano-scale dosimeters;
  • in-vivo dosimetry using portal imaging of the radiation transmitted through the patient;
  • dosimetry for molecular radiotherapy in which radioactive atoms are delivered inside cancer cells via physiological and bio-molecular pathways.

Radiation Dosimetry Healthcare Calibration Services Adobe Acrobat PDF file

External Links

IPEM

Measurement needs

Please tell us about any measurement needs you may have. Some examples of these might be:

  • Issues relating to product inspection
  • Issues relating to process control
  • Training requirements
  • Obtaining specialist calibration or testing support
  • Problem solving on measurement issues
  • Demonstrating or assessing measurement system or product performance

Your input will help us to develop our future work.

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Practical Course in Reference Dosimetry

The Practical Course in Reference Dosimetry aims to give attendees a fundamental understanding of reference dosimetry, including the UK primary standards and current Codes of Practice.

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Events

This event will cover training for: small and composite field dosimetry; dosimetry for FFF beams; and future dosimetry issues, such as for protons, hadrons and MR linacs.