Targeting cancer in 3D
The accurate delivery of high-dose radiation can significantly improve outcomes for cancer patients. Nothing short of perfect positioning and calibration of equipment is acceptable. In collaboration with Standard Imaging’s engineering team, Design Concepts created a calibration device for three-dimensional mapping of radiation therapy dose distribution.
Design Concepts was brought in to help develop an engineering architecture for the system and take it through the testing of an alpha prototype. The main challenge was the need for accuracy and precision while positioning the submerged sensing probe within the radiation field of the treatment beam.
Through field research, the team observed that physicists found current water phantom systems difficult to set up and cumbersome to use. Many tasks were still performed manually and the phantom’s remote control wasn’t intuitive. Depending upon the radiation oncology department's patient volume, physicists may only be able to use calibration equipment periodically so ease of use was critical to minimize equipment downtime. Manufacturability, reliability, serviceability and usability were also driving forces in product development. A variety of electromechanical architectures were evaluated leading up to concept selection.
The chosen system required a comprehensive electromechanical robotic system. Design Concepts utilized our skills in electrical, mechanical, human factors and software engineering to develop the robotics. Throughout the design process, the team used computer analyses, subsystem breadboards and proof-of-principle prototypes to verify performance and mitigate risk.
Once the direction was firmly established Standard Imaging’s engineering staff refined the design into what is now the DoseView 3D 3-Axis Water Phantom System.
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