Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of biomedical optics


Thayer School of Engineering

Additional Department

Geisel School of Medicine


SIGNIFICANCE: The Cherenkov emission spectrum overlaps with that of ambient room light sources. Choice of room lighting devices dramatically affects the efficient detection of Cherenkov emission during patient treatment. AIM: To determine optimal room light sources allowing Cherenkov emission imaging in normally lit radiotherapy treatment delivery rooms. APPROACH: A variety of commercial light sources and long-pass (LP) filters were surveyed for spectral band separation from the red to near-infrared Cherenkov light emitted by tissue. Their effects on signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), Cherenkov to background signal ratio, and image artifacts were quantified by imaging irradiated tissue equivalent phantoms with an intensified time-gated CMOS camera. RESULTS: Because Cherenkov emission from tissue lies largely in the near-infrared spectrum, a controlled choice of ambient light that avoids this spectral band is ideal, along with a camera that is maximally sensitive to it. An RGB LED light source produced the best SNR out of all sources that mimic room light temperature. A 675-nm LP filter on the camera input further reduced ambient light detected (optical density > 3), achieving maximal SNR for Cherenkov emission near 40. Reduction of the room light signal reduced artifacts from specular reflection on the tissue surface and also minimized spurious Cherenkov signals from non-tissue features such as bolus. CONCLUSIONS: LP filtering during image acquisition for near-infrared light in tandem with narrow band LED illuminated rooms improves image quality, trading off the loss of red wavelengths for better removal of room light in the image. This spectral filtering is also critically important to remove specular reflection in the images and allow for imaging of Cherenkov emission through clear bolus. Beyond time-gated external beam therapy systems, the spectral separation methods can be utilized for background removal for continuous treatment delivery methods including proton pencil beam scanning systems and brachytherapy.



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