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Microdosimetric evaluation of Auger electron-emitting radionuclides involves a detailed evaluation of energy deposition at a nanometre scale. To perform Monte Carlo modelling of such energy deposition, accurate information regarding the spatial distribution of the radionuclide is required. A recent addition to the methods for determining the spatial distribution of cellular internalised radionuclides is based on detection in a polymer photoresist (e.g. polymethyl methacralate), followed by atomic force microscopy analysis of the resultant 3D pattern. In comparison with present practice, the method offers greater spatial resolution and improved quantification. The volume of the pattern is proportional to the total dose, thereby permitting assessment of variability of accumulated activity, while the variation in depth across the pattern reflects the lateral spatial distribution in the local fluence per unit area. An added advantage is the similarity in response to ionising radiation of an organic polymer compared to that of biological material. A pattern in the resist from radiation emitted by a radionuclide treated cell gives additional spatial information about the energy deposited in the resist.

Original publication




Journal article


Radiat Prot Dosimetry

Publication Date





228 - 232


Autoradiography, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Electrons, Head and Neck Neoplasms, Humans, Indium Radioisotopes, Microscopy, Atomic Force, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Radionuclide Imaging, Tumor Cells, Cultured