Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


Microscopic Dose Enhancement for Gold Nanoparticle-aided Radiation Therapy


Mr. Bernard (Tripp) Jones


GT – NRE/MP Programs


Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47, 3rd FL


Sang Cho
(404) 385-1301


Gold Nanoparticle-Aided Radiation Therapy (GNRT) is a new paradigm in radiation therapy which seeks to make a tumor more susceptible to radiation damage by modifying its photon interaction properties with an infusion of gold nanoparticles (GNPs). Since photons prefer to interact with atoms of a high atomic number, raising the effective atomic number of a tumor would theoretically lead to an increase in the amount of energy deposited while sparing normal tissue from further harm. In the past, GNPs have been shown to increase the effectiveness of kV irradiation in tumor-bearing mice. The purpose of this study was to quantify the energy deposition due to secondary electrons from GNPs on a micrometer scale and to calculate the corresponding microscopic dose enhancement factor during GNRT. The Monte Carlo codes EGSnrc and NOREC were modified to obtain the spectra of secondary electrons and corresponding radial dose distribution, giving rise to gold/water electron dose point kernels and corresponding microscopic dose enhancement factors. This study demonstrates a remarkable microscopic dose enhancement due to GNPs and low energy photon sources. By quantifying the microscopic dose enhancement factor for a given photon source as a function of distance from GNPs, it also enables the selection of either a passive or an active tumor targeting strategy using GNPs which will maximize the radiobiological benefit from GNRT.


Tripp Jones is a Ph.D. student in the NRE/MP department at Georgia Tech, under the mentorship of Dr. Sang Hyun Cho. His research focuses on the applications of Gold Nanoparticles to both radiation therapy and radiation-based imaging. His past research projects involved applying Monte Carlo methods to calculate the micron-scale radiative dose enhancement during Gold Nanoparticle-aided Radiation Therapy. Currently, he is working to develop a fluorescence-based system able to construct a 3D image of the gold nanoparticle distribution in small objects/animals. He earned his Master’s Degree in Medical Physics from Georgia Tech in 2009 and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2007.


Refreshments will be served.