Researchers from the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics (CMRP) will receive $337,000, from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), to develop a new sensor technology for radiation detection and dosimetry.
The project, which will be funded through the NHMRC’s Development Grants Scheme, builds on a highly successful quality assurance system recently developed at the CMRP which is currently the only such system in the world able to perform real-time dosimetry for Synchrotron X-ray Microbeam Radiation Therapy (MRT).
The research team, led by Associate Professor Michael Lerch (above, front right), will work to develop a commercial prototype of X-RATE, a dosimeter based on a completely new and novel radiation detector platform that utilises silicon-on-diamond semiconductor technology.
“The silicon-on-diamond technology for radiation detection and dosimetry is a world first. In combining these two materials we will be able to create a unique technology that responds to radiation in the same way as human tissue, which is very important for quality assurance in MRT,” A/Professor Lerch says.
“It is this ability, which has eluded semiconductor dosimeters to date, that makes the X-RATE dosimeter such an exciting commercial prospect.”
GREAT SIGNS OF SUCCESS
The silicon-on-diamond technology will be unique in the radiation detector market space as it can be utilised and further developed for new medical dosimetry devices in the wider radiotherapy market, according to A/Professor Lerch.
“This technology is unique and represents a new concept in quality assurance for use in combination with a novel radiation treatment modality that has shown great signs of success in the treatment of some cancers where the treatment outcomes of either surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy is limited so unfortunately the long term prognosis is very poor.
“This project has the potential to define a new paradigm in Australian designed and developed radiation detection technology with strong potential for commercialisation.”
The Australian Government’s Development Grants scheme supports the commercial development of a product, process, procedure or service that if applied, would result in improved health care, disease prevention or provide health cost savings.
The grant was announced by Federal Minister for Health, the Hon. Sussan Ley MP, in March.