Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Douglas R. Boreham
William J. Rink
This thesis deals with advancements made in the field of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) for biophysical dosimetry with tooth enamel for accident, emergency and retrospective radiation dose reconstruction. A methodology has been developed to measure retrospective radiation exposures in human tooth enamel. This entails novel sample preparation procedures with minimum mechanical treatment to reduce the preparation induced uncertainties, establish optimum measurement conditions inside the EPR cavity, post process the measured spectrum with functional simulation of dosimetric and other interfering signals, and reconstruct dose. By using this technique, retrospective gamma radiation exposures as low as 80 ± 30 mGy have been successfully deciphered. The notion of dose modifier was introduced in EPR biodosimetry for low dose measurements. It has been demonstrated that by using the modified zero added dose (MZAD) technique for low radiation exposures, doses in the 100 mGy range can be easily reconstructed in teeth which were previously thought useless for EPR dosimetry. Also the use of a dose modifier makes robust dose reconstruction possible for higher radiation exposures. The EPR dosimetry technique was also developed for tooth samples extracted from rodents, which represent small tooth sizing. EPR doses in the molars, extracted from mice irradiated with whole body exposures, were reassessed and shown to be correct within the experimental uncertainty. The sensitivity of human tooth enamel for neutron irradiation, obtained from the 3 MV McMaster K. N. Van de Graaff accelerator, was also studied. For the first time this work has shown that the neutron sensitivity of the tooth enamel is approximately 1/10th of the equivalent gamma sensitivity. Parametric studies for neutron dose rate and neutron energy within the available range of the accelerator, showed no impact on the sensitivity of the tooth enamel. Therefore, tooth enamel can be used as a dosimeter for both neutrons as well as gamma radiation. We will continue experiments to develop this endpoint as a sensitive accident or emergency tool for our response capabilities.
Khan, Rao F. H., "Electron paramagnetic resonance biophysical radiation dosimetry with tooth enamel" (2003). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2769.