Absorbed fractions for alpha-particles in tissues of cortical bone

Christopher J. Watchman, Wesley E. Bolch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Bone-seeking alpha-particle emitting radionuclides are common health physics hazards. Additionally, they are under consideration as an option for therapeutic molecular radiotherapy applications. Current dose models do not account for energy or bone-site dependence as shown by alpha-particle absorbed fractions given in ICRP Publication 30. Energy-dependent, yet bone-site independent, alpha-particle absorbed fractions have been presented by the models of Stabin and Siegel (2003 Health Phys. 85 294-310). In this work, a chord-based computational model of alpha-particle transport in cortical bone has been developed that explicitly accounts for both the bone-site and particle-energy dependence of alpha-particle absorbed fractions in this region of the skeleton. The model accounts for energy deposition to three targets: cortical endosteum, haversian space tissues and cortical bone. Path length distributions for cortical bone given in Beddoe (1977 Phys. Med. Biol. 22 298-308) provided additional transport regions in the absorbed fraction calculation. Significant variations in absorbed fractions between different skeletal sites were observed. Differences were observed between this model and the absorbed fractions given in ICRP Publication 30, which varied by as much as a factor of 2.1 for a cortical bone surface source irradiating cortical endosteum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6009-6027
Number of pages19
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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