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This technical note describes a quantitative assessment of the production of radioactive materials during a year-long clinical operation of a Mevion S250i Hyperscan proton therapy system. The production of accumulated radioactive materials plays an important role in determining radiation safety in and around the proton therapy facilities.
We have conducted a weekly room survey, every week for a year, during normal clinical operation.
Results and conclusions:
We estimated the accumulated activity from secondary neutron activation on aluminium structures at 3 m away from isocentre in the beamline to be less than 300 μCi.
As the number of proton therapy facilities has steadily increased, the need for the tool to provide precise dose simulation for complicated clinical and research scenarios also increase. In this study, the treatment head of Mevion HYPERSCAN pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy system including energy modulation system (EMS) and Adaptive Aperture™ (AA) was modelled using TOPAS (TOolkit for PArticle Simulation) Monte Carlo (MC) code and was validated during commissioning process.
Materials and methods:
The proton beam characteristics including integral depth doses (IDDs) of pristine Bragg peak and in-air beam spot sizes were simulated and compared with measured beam data. The lateral profiles, with and without AA, were also verified against calculation from treatment planning system (TPS).
All beam characteristics for IDDs and in-air spot size agreed well within 1 mm and 10% separately. The full width at half maximum and penumbra of lateral dose profile also agree well within 2 mm.
The TOPAS MC simulation of the MEVION HYPERSCAN PBS proton therapy system has been modelled and validated; it could be a viable tool for research and verification of the proton treatment in the future.
We observe experimentally periodic proton beam filamentation in laser-produced dense plasma using multilayered (CH–Al–CH) sandwich targets. The accelerated MeV proton beams from these targets exhibit periodic frozen filaments up to 5–10 µm as a result of resistive Weibel instabilities in the expanding plasma. The evolution of strong self-generated resistive magnetic fields at the targets interface is attributed to such plasma effects, which are supported, by our theory and simulations. We suggest that the resistive Weibel instability could be effectively employed to understand the evolution of magnetic fields in laser-generated plasma in the astrophysics scenario or the advanced fast igniter approach of the inertial confinement fusion.
Mitochondrial dysfunction has been increasingly examined as a potential pathogenic event in psychiatric disorders, although its role early in the course of major depressive disorder (MDD) is unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate mitochondrial dysfunction in medication-free adolescents with MDD through in vivo measurements of neurometabolites using high-spatial resolution multislice/multivoxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
Twenty-three adolescents with MDD and 29 healthy controls, ages 12–20, were scanned at 3 T and concentrations of ventricular cerebrospinal fluid lactate, as well as N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), total creatine (tCr), and total choline (tCho) in the bilateral caudate, putamen, and thalamus were reported.
Adolescents with MDD exhibited increased ventricular lactate compared to healthy controls [F(1,41) = 6.98, P = 0.01]. However, there were no group differences in the other neurometabolites. Dimensional analyses in the depressed group showed no relation between any of the neurometabolites and symptomatology, including anhedonia and fatigue.
Increased ventricular lactate in depressed adolescents suggests mitochondrial dysfunction may be present early in the course of MDD; however it is still not known whether the presence of mitochondrial dysfunction is a trait vulnerability of individuals predisposed to psychopathology or a state feature of the disorder. Therefore, there is a need for larger multimodal studies to clarify these chemical findings in the context of network function.
In the recent years, some publications (mainly from one group of authors) have dealt with the effectiveness of proton–boron fusion therapy (PBFT). This theory is based on the Q-value of three produced α particles in the reaction of protons with boron (11B). They claim that this reaction significantly increases the absorbed dose in the target volume. However, the current study would re-evaluate their method to show if PBFT is really effective.
Methods and materials:
A parallel 80-MeV proton beam was irradiated on a water medium in a cubic boron uptake region (BUR). The two-dimensional dose distribution and percentage depth dose of protons, alphas and all particles were calculated using tally F6 and mesh-tallies by Monte Carlo N Particle Transport code.
The results not only showed that the dose enhancement in BUR is neglectable but also the higher density of BUR in comparison with water led to decrement of dose in this region. Because of low cross section of boron for proton beam (<100 mb), the α particles’ dose is 1,000 times lower than the proton dose.
The physical aspects and the simulation results did not show any effectiveness of the PBFT for proton therapy dose enhancement.
The energy of protons accelerated by ultra-intense lasers in the target normal sheath acceleration (TNSA) mechanism can be greatly enhanced by the laser parameter optimization. We propose to investigate the optimization of laser parameters for proton acceleration using double laser pulses in TNSA mechanism. The sheath field generation at the rear side of the target is significantly affected by the introduction of second laser pulse in TNSA mechanism, and consequently, the energy of the accelerated protons is also modified. The second laser pulse was introduced with different delays to study its impact on proton acceleration. Our study shows that the interplay of laser intensity and pulse duration of both laser pulses affects the proton acceleration. It was found that the proton maximum energy is the function of both laser intensity and pulse duration. A number of simulations have been performed to obtain maximum proton energy data under different combinations of laser intensity and pulse duration for the two laser pulses. The simulation results account for the underline physics for the proton bunch energy and the sheath field as a function of pulse intensity and pulse delay.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the feasibility of proton arc therapy (PAT) using the double-scattering MEVION-S250 proton system. The treatment planning and dose delivery parameters from PAT were compared with conventional treatment planning techniques.
Materials and methods:
PAT was simulated with multiple conformal and fixed-aperture beams (5–15) using the MEVION-S250-double-scattering proton system. Conformal apertures were simulated with the Eclipse-treatment-planning system: (a) using a static single aperture that provides the best average conformal circular or rectangular apertures to cover the tumour from different angular views (SPAT), and (b) dynamic conformal apertures of the tumour shape at each irradiation angle that can be obtained from a multi-leaf-collimator system (DPAT).
The DPAT and SPAT plans provided superior dose coverage and sparing of normal tissues in comparison with conventional plans (CPT). The entrance normal tissue and skin doses (<40%) were lowered significantly by delivering dose from different directions over a wider angular view compared to conventional plans that have large entrance dose from only two fields. While the mean and minimum doses from PAT and CPT were comparable, the maximum doses from arc plans were lower than the maximum doses in conventional plans. The SPAT and DPAT plans had comparable dose parameters for regularly shaped targets. The heterogeneity index (HI) was superior in PAT plans which improved with increasing number of beams in arc plans for the different treatment sites. The conformality index (CI) depends on the treatment site and complexity of the shape of the planning target volume where for brain, pancreatic and lung tumours, PAT plans conformality was comparable and sometimes superior to CPT; and HI and CI were generally better in DPAT compared to SPAT.
PAT plans have superior dose coverage and sparing of normal tissues compared to CPT plans using the MEVION double-scattering system as shown in this simulation study. Ideally, conformal proton arcs require beam shaping and dose delivery with the gantry moving; however, the MEVION double-scattering system lacks a multi-leaf collimator system and cannot deliver dose during gantry rotation. The single aperture conformal proton therapy technique is more time and cost effective compared with conventional techniques that are used currently with the MEVION proton therapy system because of the elimination of the need for patient-specific compensators. In present study, PAT was simulated with the MEVION double-scattering proton therapy system; however, it can be performed also with other proton therapy systems.
Using a combination of laser–plasma interactions and magnetic confinement configurations, a conceptual fusion reactor is proposed in this paper. Our reactor consists of the following: (1) A background plasma of boron11 and hydrogen ions, plus electrons, is generated and kept for a certain time, with densities of the order of a mg/cm3 and temperatures of tens of eV. Both the radiation level and the plasma thermal pressure are thus very low. (2) A plasma channel is induced in a solid target by irradiation with a high power laser that creates a very intense shock wave. This mechanism conveys the acceleration of protons in the laser direction. The mechanisms must be tuned for the protons to reach a kinetic energy of 300–1200 keV where the pB11 fusion cross section is significantly large (note that this value is not a temperature). (3) Those ultra-fast protons enter the background plasma and collide with boron11 to produce three alphas. Fusion born alphas collide with protons of the plasma and accelerate them causing a chain reaction. (4) A combination of an induction current and a magnetic bottle keeps the chain reaction process going on, for a pulse long enough to get a high energy gain. (5) Materials for the background plasma and the laser target must be replaced for starting a new chain reaction cycle.
A developing application of laser-driven currents is the generation of magnetic fields of picosecond–nanosecond duration with magnitudes exceeding
. Single-loop and helical coil targets can direct laser-driven discharge currents along wires to generate spatially uniform, quasi-static magnetic fields on the millimetre scale. Here, we present proton deflectometry across two axes of a single-loop coil ranging from 1 to 2 mm in diameter. Comparison with proton tracking simulations shows that measured magnetic fields are the result of kiloampere currents in the coil and electric charges distributed around the coil target. Using this dual-axis platform for proton deflectometry, robust measurements can be made of the evolution of magnetic fields in a capacitor coil target.
We present a study of laser-driven ion acceleration with micrometre and sub-micrometre thick targets, which focuses on the enhancement of the maximum proton energy and the total number of accelerated particles at the PHELIX facility. Using laser pulses with a nanosecond temporal contrast of up to
and an intensity of the order of
, proton energies up to 93 MeV are achieved. Additionally, the conversion efficiency at
incidence angle was increased when changing the laser polarization to p, enabling similar proton energies and particle numbers as in the case of normal incidence and s-polarization, but reducing the debris on the last focusing optic.
The present study aimed at analysing how dietary folic acid (FA) and Fe deficiency, followed by supplementation with these nutrients, affects the expression of folate and Fe transporters in the duodenum, as well as FA and Fe status. After a deficiency period, Wistar rats were randomised to a group fed with a diet deficient in FA and supplemented with Fe (DFE), a diet deficient in Fe and supplemented with FA, a diet supplemented with Fe and FA (FEFOL), a diet deficient in Fe and FA (D) or a control diet (C). Tissue collection was performed after 2, 10 or 21 d of these diets. Group D had higher Slc11a2 mRNA levels than the DFE group at every time point and there were differences in mRNA levels of Slc46a1 between the DFE and the FEFOL groups at the third time point, but we observed no differences in protein levels between the groups. The DFE and D groups not only had lower serum folate concentrations at every time point but also had the highest homocysteine concentrations. Total Fe binding capacity concentrations were the lowest in the DFE group at the first time point and in the DFE and the FEFOL groups at the final time point. Simultaneous supplementation with FA and Fe resulted in significantly higher Hb concentrations than did supplementation with these nutrients alone. Our findings indicate that dietary FA and Fe deficiency, and subsequent supplementation with these nutrients, affects transcription but not the protein levels of FA and Fe transporters in the duodenum.
Mitochondria play an important role in a number of fundamental cellular processes, including energy production, biosynthetic pathways and cellular oxidoreductive homeostasis (redox status), and their dysfunction can lead to numerous pathophysiological consequences. As the biochemical mechanisms orchestrating mitochondrial metabolism and redox homeostasis are functionally linked, mitochondria have been identified as a potential therapeutic target. Consequently, considerable effort has been made to evaluate the efficacy of natural compounds that modulate mitochondrial function. Molecules produced by plants (for example, polyphenols and isothiocyanates) have been shown to modulate mitochondrial metabolism/biogenesis and redox status; however, despite the existence of a functional link, few studies have considered the combined efficacy of these mitochondrial functions. The present review provides a complete overview of the molecular pathways involved in modulating mitochondrial metabolism/biogenesis and redox status. Crosstalk between these critical mechanisms is also discussed, whilst major data from the literature regarding their antioxidant abilities are described and critically analysed. We also provide a summary of recent evidence regarding the ability of several plant-derived compounds to target these mitochondrial functions. An in-depth understanding of the functional link between mitochondrial metabolism/biogenesis and redox status could facilitate the analysis of the biological effects of natural compounds as well as the development of new therapeutic approaches.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between muscle mitochondrial function and residual feed intake (RFI) in growing beef cattle. A 56-day feeding trial was conducted with 81 Angus × Hereford steers (initial BW = 378 ± 43 kg) from the University of California Sierra Foothills Research Station (Browns Valley, CA, USA). All steers were individually fed the same finishing ration (metabolizable energy = 3.28 Mcal/kg DM). Average daily gain (ADG), DM intake (DMI) and RFI were 1.82 ± 0.27, 8.89 ± 1.06 and 0.00 ± 0.55 kg/day, respectively. After the feeding trial, the steers were categorized into high, medium and low RFI groups. Low RFI steers consumed 13.6% less DM (P < 0.05) and had a 14.1% higher G : F ratio (P < 0.05) than the high RFI group. No differences between RFI groups were found in age, ADG or BW (P > 0.10). The most extreme individuals from the low and high RFI groups were selected to assess mitochondrial function (n = 5 low RFI and n = 6 high RFI). Mitochondrial respiration was measured using an oxygraph (Hansatech Instruments Ltd., Norfolk, UK). State 3 and State 4 respiration rates were similar between both groups (P > 0.10). Respiratory control ratios (RCRs, i.e., State 3 : State 4 oxygen uptakes) declined with animal age and were greater in low RFI steers (4.90) as compared to high RFI steers (4.26) when adjusted for age by analysis of covariance (P = 0.003). Mitochondrial complex II activity levels per gram of muscle were 42% greater in low RFI steers than in high RFI steers (P = 0.004). These data suggest that skeletal muscle mitochondria have greater reserve respiratory capacity and show greater coupling between respiration and phosphorylation in low RFI than in high RFI steers.
Multi-MeV proton beams can be generated by irradiating thin solid foils with ultra-intense (>1018 W/cm2) short laser pulses. Several of their characteristics, such as high bunch charge and short pulse duration, make them a complementary alternative to conventional radio frequency-based accelerators. A potential material science application is the chemical analysis of cultural heritage (CH) artifacts. The complete chemistry of the bulk material (ceramics, metals) can be retrieved through sophisticated nuclear techniques such as particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE). Recently, the use of laser-generated proton beams was introduced as diagnostics in material science (laser-PIXE or laser-driven PIXE): Coupling laser-generated proton sources to conventional beam steering devices successfully enhances the capture and transport of the laser-accelerated beam. This leads to a reduction of the high divergence and broad energy spread at the source. The design of our hybrid beamline is composed of an energy selector, followed by permanent quadrupole magnets aiming for better control and manipulation of the final proton beam parameters. This allows tailoring both, mean proton energy and spot sizes, yet keeping the system compact. We performed a theoretical study optimizing a beamline for laser-PIXE applications. Our design enables monochromatizing the beam and shaping its final spot size. We obtain spot sizes ranging between a fraction of mm up to cm scale at a fraction of nC proton charge per shot. These results pave the way for a versatile and tunable laser-PIXE at a multi-Hz repetition rate using modern commercially available laser systems.
To examine detail depth dose characteristics of ideal proton beams using the GATE Monte Carlo technique.
In this study, in order to improve simulation efficiency, we used pencil beam geometry instead of parallel broad-field geometry. Depth dose distributions for beam energies from 5 to 250 MeV in a water phantom were obtained. This study used parameters named Rpeak, R90, R80, R73, R50, full width at half maximum (FWHM), width of 80–20% distal fall-off (W(80–20)) and peak-to-entrance ratio to represent Bragg peak characteristics. The obtained energy–range relationships were fitted into third-order polynomial formulae. The present study also used the GATE Monte Carlo code to calculate the stopping power of proton pencil beams in a water cubic phantom and compared results with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standard reference database.
The study results revealed deeper penetration, broader FWHM and distal fall-off and decreased peak-to-entrance dose ratio with increasing beam energy. Study results for monoenergetic proton beams showed that R73 can be a good indicator to characterise a range of incident beams. These also suggest FWHM is more sensitive than W(80–20) distal fall-off in finding initial energy spread. Furthermore, the difference between the obtained stopping power from simulation and NIST data almost in all energies was lower than 1%.
Detail depth dose characteristics for monoenergetic proton beams within therapeutic energy ranges were reported. These results can serve as a good reference for clinical practitioners in their daily practice.
Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have been used to investigate the interaction between a laser pulse and a foil exposed to an external strong longitudinal magnetic field. Compared with that in the absence of the external magnetic field, the divergence of proton with the magnetic field in radiation pressure acceleration (RPA) regimes has improved remarkably due to the restriction of the electron transverse expansion. During the RPA process, the foil develops into a typical bubble-like shape resulting from the combined action of transversal ponderomotive force and instabilities. However, the foil prefers to be in a cone-like shape by using the magnetic field. The dependence of proton divergence on the strength of magnetic field has been studied, and an optimal magnetic field of nearly 60 kT is achieved in these simulations.
Laser–plasma interactions have been studied in detail over the past twenty years, as they show great potential for the next generation of particle accelerators. The interaction between an ultra-intense laser and a solid-state target produces a huge amount of particles: electrons and photons (X-rays and
-rays) at early stages of the process, with protons and ions following them. At SPARC_LAB Test Facility we have set up two diagnostic lines to perform simultaneous temporally resolved measurements on both electrons and protons.
We report on the concept of an innovative source to produce polarized proton/deuteron beams of a kinetic energy up to several GeV from a laser-driven plasma accelerator. Spin effects have been implemented into the particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation code VLPL (Virtual Laser Plasma Lab) to make theoretical predictions about the behavior of proton spins in laser-induced plasmas. Simulations of spin-polarized targets show that the polarization is conserved during the acceleration process. For the experimental realization, a polarized HCl gas-jet target is under construction using the fundamental wavelength of a Nd:YAG laser system to align the HCl bonds and simultaneously circularly polarized light of the fifth harmonic to photo-dissociate, yielding nuclear polarized H atoms. Subsequently, their degree of polarization is measured with a Lamb-shift polarimeter. The final experiments, aiming at the first observation of a polarized particle beam from laser-generated plasmas, will be carried out at the 10 PW laser system SULF at SIOM, Shanghai.
Multidimensional instabilities always develop with time during the process of radiation pressure acceleration, and are detrimental to the generation of monoenergetic proton beams. In this paper, a sharp-front laser is proposed to irradiate a triple-layer target (the proton layer is set between two carbon ion layers) and studied in theory and simulations. It is found that the thin proton layer can be accelerated once to hundreds of MeV with monoenergetic spectra only during the hole-boring (HB) stage. The carbon ions move behind the proton layer in the light-sail (LS) stage, which can shield any further interaction between the rear part of the laser and the proton layer. In this way, proton beam instabilities can be reduced to a certain extent during the entire acceleration process. It is hoped such a mechanism can provide a feasible way to improve the beam quality for proton therapy and other applications.
The Weibel instability and the induced magnetic field are of great importance for both astrophysics and inertial confinement fusion. Because of the stochasticity of this magnetic field, its main wavelength and mean strength, which are key characteristics of the Weibel instability, are still unobtainable experimentally. In this paper, a theoretical model based on the autocorrelation tensor shows that in proton radiography of the Weibel-instability-induced magnetic field, the proton flux density on the detection plane can be related to the energy spectrum of the magnetic field. It allows us to extract the main wavelength and mean strength of the two-dimensionally isotropic and stochastic magnetic field directly from proton radiography for the first time. Numerical calculations are conducted to verify our theory and show good consistency between pre-set values and the results extracted from proton radiography.