The aim of the NEPTUNE (Nuclear process-driven Enhancement of Proton Therapy UNravEled) project is to investigate in detail both the physical and radiobiological phenomena that could justify an increase of the proton-induced cytogenetic effects in cells irradiated in presence of an agent containing natural boron. In this work, a double-stage silicon telescope coupled to different boron converters was irradiated at the CATANA proton therapy facility (INFN-LNS) for studying the proton boron fusion and the neutron boron capture reactions by discriminating secondary particles from primary protons. Different boron targets were developed by depositing boric acid, enriched with a higher than 99% content of 10B or 11B, on a 50 µm thick PolyMethilMetacrylate (PMMA) substrate. The 10B target allows to evaluate the contribution of lithium and alpha particles produced by the boron neutron capture reaction triggered by secondary thermal neutrons, while the 11B target is exploited for studying the effect of the p + 11B → 3α nuclear reaction directly triggered by primary protons. Experimental results clearly show the presence of alpha particles from both the reactions. The silicon telescope is capable of discriminating, by means of the so-called “scatter plots”, the contribution of alpha particles originated by thermal neutrons on 10B with respect to the ones produced by protons impinging on 11B. Although a reliable quantitative study of the alpha production rate has not been achieved yet, this work demonstrates that low energy and, therefore, high-LET particles from both the reactions can be measured.

Experimental investigation at CATANA facility of n-10B and p-11B reactions for the enhancement of proton therapy

Mazzucconi D.;Bortot D.;Pola A.;Fazzi A.;Cazzola L.;Conte V.;Agosteo S.
2021

Abstract

The aim of the NEPTUNE (Nuclear process-driven Enhancement of Proton Therapy UNravEled) project is to investigate in detail both the physical and radiobiological phenomena that could justify an increase of the proton-induced cytogenetic effects in cells irradiated in presence of an agent containing natural boron. In this work, a double-stage silicon telescope coupled to different boron converters was irradiated at the CATANA proton therapy facility (INFN-LNS) for studying the proton boron fusion and the neutron boron capture reactions by discriminating secondary particles from primary protons. Different boron targets were developed by depositing boric acid, enriched with a higher than 99% content of 10B or 11B, on a 50 µm thick PolyMethilMetacrylate (PMMA) substrate. The 10B target allows to evaluate the contribution of lithium and alpha particles produced by the boron neutron capture reaction triggered by secondary thermal neutrons, while the 11B target is exploited for studying the effect of the p + 11B → 3α nuclear reaction directly triggered by primary protons. Experimental results clearly show the presence of alpha particles from both the reactions. The silicon telescope is capable of discriminating, by means of the so-called “scatter plots”, the contribution of alpha particles originated by thermal neutrons on 10B with respect to the ones produced by protons impinging on 11B. Although a reliable quantitative study of the alpha production rate has not been achieved yet, this work demonstrates that low energy and, therefore, high-LET particles from both the reactions can be measured.
Boron neutron capture reaction
Proton boron fusion reaction
Proton therapy
Silicon telescope
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1184096
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