Team: Heidi Niskanen, Noah Augustine, Jacqueline Schings, Alexander Roaldsand, Deborah Lark
Interventional Radiology procedures such as fluoroscopy are used globally to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. Despite the benefits of these procedures in providing less invasive alternatives to surgical methods, the use of ionizing radiation involves risks that must be respected to safeguard the health of operators and patients. The eye lenses of physicians overseeing fluoroscopic procedures are vulnerable to developing cataracts through continued exposure to elevated levels of radiation. The ICRP has suggested limiting occupational eye lens dose to 20 mSv per year averaged over five years, with no worker exceeding a dose of 50 mSv in a single year in order to minimize the risk of cataract formation. To stay under such limits, it is necessary for physicians overseeing such procedures to have access to a dosimeter unit capable of detecting the dose to the eye lens. Existing detectors serve this functionality, but are passive detectors; therefore, a physician can only be made aware of the eye lens dose taken over a procedure after it has been completed.
Therefore, for this senior design project, an active eye lens dosimeter was designed. The proposed design is a CVD diamond, semiconductor detector that will hang down from a headband to sit near to the eye. A coaxial cable will connect the detector to a small data processing and power supply device that attaches at the hip, with the cable running from the headband down the physician’s back. The data processing device will transmit the dosage wirelessly to the user interface in the form of a smartwatch worn on the physician’s wrist as well as to a hospital computer for recording purposes.
Results and Accomplishments
The hope is that with access to active readings, the physicians will be able to adjust their procedures in a manner that will reduce their exposure to the scattered radiation. As well, this design will bring more attention to the potential hazards of cataract formation within the field of interventional radiology.