Design and characterization of an economical 192Ir hemi-brain small animal irradiator

Michael P. Grams, Zachary C. Wilson, Terence T. Sio, Chris J. Beltran, Erik J. Tryggestad, Shiv K. Gupta, Charles R. Blackwell, Kevin P. McCollough, Jann N. Sarkaria, Keith M. Furutani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe the design and dosimetric characterization of a simple and economical small animal irradiator. Materials and methods: A high dose rate (HDR) 192Ir brachytherapy source from a commercially available afterloader was used with a 1.3 cm thick tungsten collimator to provide sharp beam penumbra suitable for hemi-brain irradiation of mice. The unit was equipped with continuous gas anesthesia to allow robust animal immobilization. Dosimetric characterization of the device was performed with Gafchromic film measurements. Results: The tungsten collimator provided a sharp penumbra suitable for hemi-brain irradiation, and dose rates on the order of 200 cGy/minute were achieved. The sharpness of the penumbra attainable with this device compares favorably to those measured experimentally for 6 MV photons, and 6 and 20 MeV electron beams from a linear accelerator, and was comparable to those measured for a 300 kVp orthovoltage beam and a Monte Carlo simulated 90 MeV proton beam. Conclusions: Due to its simplicity and low cost, the apparatus described is an attractive alternative for small animal irradiation experiments requiring steep dose gradients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)936-942
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Iridium-192 HDR
  • Small animal irradiator
  • hemi-brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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