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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

| EXPLORING THE INTERFACE OF LIGHT AND BIOMEDICINE

  • Editors: Andrew Dunn and Anthony Durkin
  • Vol. 7, Iss. 6 — May. 25, 2012
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Time-gated Cherenkov emission spectroscopy from linear accelerator irradiation of tissue phantoms

Adam K. Glaser, Rongxiao Zhang, Scott C. Davis, David J. Gladstone, and Brian W. Pogue  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 37, Issue 7, pp. 1193-1195 (2012)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.37.001193


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Abstract

Radiation from a linear accelerator induces Cherenkov emission in tissue, which has recently been shown to produce biochemical spectral signatures that can be interpreted to estimate tissue hemoglobin and oxygen saturation or molecular fluorescence from reporters. The Cherenkov optical light levels are in the range of 106 to 109W/cm2, which limits the practical utility of the signal in routine radiation therapy monitoring. However, due to the fact that the radiation is pulsed, gated-acquisition of the signal allows detection in the presence of ambient lighting, as is demonstrated here. This observation has the potential to significantly increase the value of Cherenkov emission spectroscopy during radiation therapy to monitor tissue molecular events.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

Optical photon emission is observed when a charged particle moves faster than the speed of light in a given dielectric medium [1

1. P. A. Cherenkov, Phys. Rev. 52, 378 (1937). [CrossRef]

]. This phenomenon, known as Cherenkov emission, has found applications in the field of optical molecular imaging through Cherenkov luminescence imaging, a novel technique for tracking β-emitting radionuclides in vivo [2

2. R. Robertson, M. S. Germanos, C. Li, G. S. Mitchell, S. R. Cherry, and M. D. Silva, Phys. Med. Biol. 54, N355 (2009). [CrossRef]

8

8. G. S. Mitchell, R. K. Gill, D. L. Boucher, C Li, and S. R. Cherry, Philos. Trans. Roy. Soc. A 369, 4605 (2011). [CrossRef]

]. Additionally, linear accelerator (LINAC)-induced Cherenkov emission spectroscopy (CES) has recently been investigated for both fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy methods [9

9. J. Axelsson, S. C. Davis, D. J. Gladstone, and B. W. Pogue, Med. Phys. 38 (7), 4127 (2011). [CrossRef]

,10

10. J. Axelsson, A. K. Glaser, D. J. Gladstone, and B. W. Pogue, Opt. Express20, 5133 (2012). [CrossRef] .

]. As a result of the exponential dependence of the Cherenkov photon yield with particle energy, the optical emission per particle from a 6 to 24 MeV LINAC beam is approximately 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than Cherenkov emission from isotopic β-emitters, which are typically less than 1 MeV. As such, the CES signal strength during external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is reasonably high (106 to 109W/cm2) and could potentially be used for clinical disease treatment and monitoring. While sufficiently high to measure, it is still well below room light levels, which is a challenge for practical use. In this study, we address the issue of signal acquisition during ambient room lighting by demonstrating gated detection of Cherenkov emission from a LINAC when operating in a standard pulsed delivery mode.

The linear accelerator (Varian LINAC 2100C, Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA) used in this study delivers a 5 μs radiation pulse every 5 ms, resulting in a potential 1000× rejection of room light during gated detection. As a result, under dimmed room lighting conditions, the ambient and Cherenkov optical signals are nearly equivalent in intensity. Additionally, by picking up light directionally from the tissue using fiber optics or a lens system, it is feasible to increase the Cherenkov signal over the ambient room light by at least 1 to 2 orders of magnitude.

In this study, optical spectra were detected using an imaging spectrograph (SpectraPro 300, Princeton Instruments, Acton, Mass.) equipped with a 300lines/mm grating blazed at 750 nm, connected to a front-illuminated CCD camera (PI-MAX3 RB GEN II, Princeton Instruments, Acton, Mass.) cooled to 25°C. The system was placed outside of the treatment room, and light was collected using a 13 m long fiber bundle (Zlight, Latvia) comprised of seven 400 μm diameter silica fibers in a hexagonal tip geometry (see Fig. 1). For every experiment, the fiber tip was placed in the center of the radiation beam at the phantom surface. An analog trigger out voltage was obtained from the linear accelerator control unit and fed into the external trigger port of the CCD camera using a BNC cable. In an iterative manner, the delay between the falling edge of the trigger signal and rising edge of the linear accelerator beam on pulse was found to be 3 μs. The trigger delay, gate width, and frequency were used in conjunction with the LIGHTFIELD software package (Princeton Instruments, Acton, Mass.) for accurate gating and signal acquisition from the spectrometer-CCD coupled system (see Fig. 2).

Fig. 1. (a) The experimental setup is shown with the computer-controlled spectrometer CCD system located outside of the treatment room with Cherenkov light collected through a 13 m optical fiber. The trigger signal was obtained from the LINAC external control unit outside the room. (b) Schematic of Cherenkov emission in a phantom is illustrated. The radiation beam travels downward with a rectangular cross-section producing a column of Cherenkov emission below the surface. The optical fiber was placed on the phantom surface with the tip in the center of the beam.
Fig. 2. The timeline of events for the ambient lights, output trigger, radiation beam output, and CCD shutter is shown. The periods of beam on and subsequent Cherenkov emission are shown in shaded blue.

Spectra were first acquired in a scattering phantom composed of phosphate-buffered solution and 1% v/v Intralipid (Sigma Aldrich, Saint Louis, MO) (see Fig. 3). For all experiments, a 4×4cm 18 MeV β radiation beam at a dose rate of 4Gy/min was used to maximize the Cherenkov emission. Each spectrum was acquired at 100/100× gain by averaging 1000 consecutive frames for a total acquisition time of approximately 6 s, corresponding to an acceptable treatment dose of 40cGy. The gated signal spectrum was triggered externally by the linear accelerator with the beam and ambient lights on. Similarly, the ambient lights spectrum was triggered internally with the beam off and gating parameters identical to that of the gated signal. Isolation of the Cherenkov emission signal was obtained by calculating the difference between the two. All spectra were subject to background subtraction to account for characteristic system noise buildup at the high 100/100× gain. The results, shown in Fig. 3(a), demonstrate that gated acquisition is successful in reducing the ambient lights signal to a low-intensity DC signal similar to noise. The signal-to-noise ratio for the Cherenkov was S/N=60 for this acquisition in an individual pixel on the CCD, and signal to background (S/B) was 72, whereas similar acquisition in a nongated manner would have S/B much less than unity. This means the signal is readily measured in this subdued lighting, and small lighting offsets can be subtracted off as need be.

Fig. 3. (a) The gated detection of Cherenkov emission with room lights on is shown with spectra acquired from a scattering phantom. The Cherenkov emission is obtained by calculating the difference between the gated signal and ambient lighting signal. (b) A photograph of the room with a corresponding image of Cherenkov emission from a human head phantom for radiation therapy are overlaid to illustrate the amount of ambient lighting present for all experiments.

For illustrative purposes, an autoexposure white light image of the tissue head phantom with ambient lighting levels was used in all experiments and was overlaid with a 30 s exposure image of the induced Cherenkov emission in the absence of ambient lights [Fig. 3(b)]. Both images were captured using a standard CMOS camera (Rebel T3i, Canon, Tokyo, Japan) with a standard kit lens, and the latter was processed with a 20×20 pixel median filter.

To further explore the implications of this system for CES applications, tissue-mimicking phantoms were mixed with phosphate buffered solution, 1% v/v Intralipid and 1% v/v porcine blood (see Fig. 4). Phantoms were deoxygenated using a glucose oxidase-catalase reaction (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Mass.), and reference oxygenation saturation measurements were performed using an ischemia monitoring system (Spectros T-Stat, Spectros, Portola Valley, Calif.) [11

11. L. A. Brody, E. R. Strupinsky, and L. R. Kline, Active Packaging for Food Applications (CRC Press, 2001), Chap. 3.

]. The absorption signatures due to hemoglobin are apparent in the acquired spectrum relative to the absence of an absorber and the isobestic points of oxy/deoxy hemoglobin easily visible in the 550 to 600 nm spectral region. Using a diffusion-theory-based fitting algorithm, these changes have been made quantitative in recovery of factors such as hemoglobin concentration and oxygen saturation, which could have clinical significance in monitoring disease progression and treatment efficacy [9

9. J. Axelsson, S. C. Davis, D. J. Gladstone, and B. W. Pogue, Med. Phys. 38 (7), 4127 (2011). [CrossRef]

].

Fig. 4. The gated detection of Cherenkov emission in a tissue-simulating phantom is shown in with spectra of a phantom having no blood (black line), as well as oxygenated and deoxygenated blood (red and blue lines, respectively). Inset highlights the isosbestic region observed in the signal at the 550 to 600 nm spectral range.

This work was financially supported by National Institutes of Health grants R01 CA120368 and R01 CA109558.

References

1.

P. A. Cherenkov, Phys. Rev. 52, 378 (1937). [CrossRef]

2.

R. Robertson, M. S. Germanos, C. Li, G. S. Mitchell, S. R. Cherry, and M. D. Silva, Phys. Med. Biol. 54, N355 (2009). [CrossRef]

3.

A. E. Spinelli, D. D’Ambrosio, L. Calderan, M. Marengo, A. Sbarbati, and F. Boschi, Phys. Med. Biol. 55, 483 (2010). [CrossRef]

4.

H. Liu, G. Ren, Z. Miao, X. Zhang, X. Tang, P. Han, S. S. Gambhir, and Z. Cheng, PLoS ONE 5, e9470 (2010). [CrossRef]

5.

A. Ruggiero, J. P. Holland, J. S. Lewis, and J. J. Grimm, J. Nucl. Med. 51, 1123 (2010). [CrossRef]

6.

C. Li, G. S. Mitchell, and S. R. Cherry, Opt. Lett. 35, 1109 (2010). [CrossRef]

7.

R Robertson, M. S. Germanos, M. G. Manfredi, P. G Smith, and M. D. Silva, J. Nucl. Med. 52, 1764 (2011). [CrossRef]

8.

G. S. Mitchell, R. K. Gill, D. L. Boucher, C Li, and S. R. Cherry, Philos. Trans. Roy. Soc. A 369, 4605 (2011). [CrossRef]

9.

J. Axelsson, S. C. Davis, D. J. Gladstone, and B. W. Pogue, Med. Phys. 38 (7), 4127 (2011). [CrossRef]

10.

J. Axelsson, A. K. Glaser, D. J. Gladstone, and B. W. Pogue, Opt. Express20, 5133 (2012). [CrossRef] .

11.

L. A. Brody, E. R. Strupinsky, and L. R. Kline, Active Packaging for Food Applications (CRC Press, 2001), Chap. 3.

12.

P. Vaupel, A. Mayer, and M. Höckel in Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (rhEPO) in Clinical Oncology, M. R. Nowrousian, eds. (Springer, 2008) pp. 265–282.

13.

S. M. Evans and C. J. Koch, Cancer Lett. 195, 1 (2003). [CrossRef]

14.

M. Nordsmark, S. M. Bentzen, V. Rudat, D. Brizel, E. Lartigau, P. Stadler, A. Becker, M. Adam, M. Molls, J. Dunst, D. J. Terris, and J. Overgaard, Radiother. Oncol. 77, 18 (2005). [CrossRef]

15.

R. A. Cooper, C. M. West, J. P. Logue, S. E. Davidson, A. Miller, S. Roberts, I. J. Statford, D. J. Honess, and R. D. Hunter, Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 45, 119 (1999). [CrossRef]

OCIS Codes
(170.1470) Medical optics and biotechnology : Blood or tissue constituent monitoring
(170.2655) Medical optics and biotechnology : Functional monitoring and imaging

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

History
Original Manuscript: November 4, 2011
Revised Manuscript: December 13, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: December 21, 2011
Published: March 26, 2012

Virtual Issues
Vol. 7, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
Adam K. Glaser, Rongxiao Zhang, Scott C. Davis, David J. Gladstone, and Brian W. Pogue, "Time-gated Cherenkov emission spectroscopy from linear accelerator irradiation of tissue phantoms," Opt. Lett. 37, 1193-1195 (2012)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/vjbo/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-37-7-1193


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References

  1. P. A. Cherenkov, Phys. Rev. 52, 378 (1937). [CrossRef]
  2. R. Robertson, M. S. Germanos, C. Li, G. S. Mitchell, S. R. Cherry, and M. D. Silva, Phys. Med. Biol. 54, N355 (2009). [CrossRef]
  3. A. E. Spinelli, D. D’Ambrosio, L. Calderan, M. Marengo, A. Sbarbati, and F. Boschi, Phys. Med. Biol. 55, 483 (2010). [CrossRef]
  4. H. Liu, G. Ren, Z. Miao, X. Zhang, X. Tang, P. Han, S. S. Gambhir, and Z. Cheng, PLoS ONE 5, e9470 (2010). [CrossRef]
  5. A. Ruggiero, J. P. Holland, J. S. Lewis, and J. J. Grimm, J. Nucl. Med. 51, 1123 (2010). [CrossRef]
  6. C. Li, G. S. Mitchell, and S. R. Cherry, Opt. Lett. 35, 1109 (2010). [CrossRef]
  7. R Robertson, M. S. Germanos, M. G. Manfredi, P. G Smith, and M. D. Silva, J. Nucl. Med. 52, 1764 (2011). [CrossRef]
  8. G. S. Mitchell, R. K. Gill, D. L. Boucher, C Li, and S. R. Cherry, Philos. Trans. Roy. Soc. A 369, 4605 (2011). [CrossRef]
  9. J. Axelsson, S. C. Davis, D. J. Gladstone, and B. W. Pogue, Med. Phys. 38 (7), 4127 (2011). [CrossRef]
  10. J. Axelsson, A. K. Glaser, D. J. Gladstone, and B. W. Pogue, Opt. Express20, 5133 (2012).. [CrossRef]
  11. L. A. Brody, E. R. Strupinsky, and L. R. Kline, Active Packaging for Food Applications (CRC Press, 2001), Chap. 3.
  12. P. Vaupel, A. Mayer, and M. Höckel in Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (rhEPO) in Clinical Oncology, M. R. Nowrousian, eds. (Springer, 2008) pp. 265–282.
  13. S. M. Evans and C. J. Koch, Cancer Lett. 195, 1 (2003). [CrossRef]
  14. M. Nordsmark, S. M. Bentzen, V. Rudat, D. Brizel, E. Lartigau, P. Stadler, A. Becker, M. Adam, M. Molls, J. Dunst, D. J. Terris, and J. Overgaard, Radiother. Oncol. 77, 18 (2005). [CrossRef]
  15. R. A. Cooper, C. M. West, J. P. Logue, S. E. Davidson, A. Miller, S. Roberts, I. J. Statford, D. J. Honess, and R. D. Hunter, Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 45, 119 (1999). [CrossRef]

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