Physical Properties of Ethyl Methacrylate as a Bolus in Radiotherapy

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Radiotherapy Department of Pars Hospital, Tehran, Iran.

2 Medical Physics Department, Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Bolus is a soft and resilient material which is used for increasing skin dose or to even out the irregular patient contour. The main property of various materials used presently as bolus is the water-equivalent electron density. Ethyl methacrylate is used as a soft-liner in dentistry and its physical and chemical properties are proved to be nontoxic for human body. The goal of this study was to assess the feasibility of using this material as bolus in radiotherapy and also evaluating some parameters such as mass, electron densities, and transmission factors.
Materials and Methods
Computed tomography data from the sample material were acquired to assess mass and electron densities with various techniques (mA and kVp). Circular ROIs were delineated on CT DICOM images and densities were calculated using CT numbers. Transmission factors were calculated for 6 and 18 MV.
Evaluation of our results are evident that showed that mass and electron densities of ethyl methacrylate are similar to those of water and soft tissue. Furthermore, transmission factors are close to those of water.
According to the results of this study and other properties such as flexibility and harmlessness, it seems that ethyl methacrylate is a suitable material to be used as bolus in radiotherapy.


Main Subjects

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