Experimentally Observed Cherenkov Light Generation in the Eye During Radiation Therapy.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:Patients have reported sensations of seeing light flashes during radiation therapy, even with their eyes closed. These observations have been attributed to either direct excitation of retinal pigments or generation of Cherenkov light inside the eye. Both in vivo human and ex vivo animal eye imaging was used to confirm light intensity and spectra to determine its origin and overall observability. METHODS AND MATERIALS:A time-gated and intensified camera was used to capture light exiting the eye of a patient undergoing stereotactic radiosurgery in real time, thereby verifying the detectability of light through the pupil. These data were compared with follow-up mechanistic imaging of ex vivo animal eyes with thin radiation beams to evaluate emission spectra and signal intensity variation with anatomic depth. Angular dependency of light emission from the eye was also measured. RESULTS:Patient imaging showed that light generation in the eye during radiation therapy can be captured with a signal-to-noise ratio of 68. Irradiation of ex vivo eye samples confirmed that the spectrum matched that of Cherenkov emission and that signal intensity was largely homogeneous throughout the entire eye, from the cornea to the retina, with a slight maximum near 10 mm depth. Observation of the signal external to the eye was possible through the pupil from 0° to 90°, with a detected emission near 2500 photons per millisecond (during peak emission of the ON cycle of the pulsed delivery), which is over 2 orders of magnitude higher than the visible detection threshold. CONCLUSIONS:By quantifying the spectra and magnitude of the signal, we now have direct experimental observations that Cherenkov light is generated in the eye during radiation therapy and can contribute to perceived light flashes. Furthermore, this technique can be used to further study and measure phosphenes in the radiation therapy clinic.
Project description:Imaging Cherenkov emission during radiation therapy cancer treatments can provide a real-time, non-contact sampling of the entire dose field. The emitted Cherenkov signal generated is proportional to deposited dose, however, it is affected by attenuation from the intrinsic tissue optical properties of the patient, which in breast, ranges from primarily adipose to fibroglandular tissue. Patients being treated with whole-breast X-ray radiotherapy (n?=?13) were imaged for 108 total fractions, to establish correction factors from the linear relationships between Cherenkov light and CT number (HU). This study elucidates this relationship in vivo, and a correction factor approach is used to scale each image to improve the linear correlation between Cherenkov emission intensity and dose ([Formula: see text]). This study provides a major step towards direct quantitative radiation dose imaging in humans by utilizing non-contact camera sensing of Cherenkov emission during the radiation therapy treatment.
Project description:PURPOSE:Real-time monitoring of physiological changes of tumor tissue during radiation therapy (RT) could improve therapeutic efficacy and predict therapeutic outcomes. Cherenkov radiation is a normal byproduct of radiation deposited in tissue. Previous studies in rat tumors have confirmed a correlation between Cherenkov emission spectra and optical measurements of blood-oxygen saturation based on the tissue absorption coefficients. The purpose of this study is to determine if it is feasible to image Cherenkov emissions during radiation therapy in larger human-sized tumors of pet dogs with cancer. We also wished to validate the prior work in rats, to determine if Cherenkov emissions have the potential to act an indicator of blood-oxygen saturation or water-content changes in the tumor tissue-both of which have been correlated with patient prognosis. METHODS:A DoseOptics camera, built to image the low-intensity emission of Cherenkov radiation, was used to measure Cherenkov intensities in a cohort of cancer-bearing pet dogs during clinical irradiation. Tumor type and location varied, as did the radiation fractionation scheme and beam arrangement, each planned according to institutional standard-of-care. Unmodulated radiation was delivered using multiple 6 MV X-ray beams from a clinical linear accelerator. Each dog was treated with a minimum of 16 Gy total, in ?3 fractions. Each fraction was split into at least three subfractions per gantry angle. During each subfraction, Cherenkov emissions were imaged. RESULTS:We documented significant intra-subfraction differences between the Cherenkov intensities for normal tissue, whole-tumor tissue, tissue at the edge of the tumor and tissue at the center of the tumor (p<0.05). Additionally, intra-subfraction changes suggest that Cherenkov emissions may have captured fluctuating absorption properties within the tumor. CONCLUSION:Here we demonstrate that it is possible to obtain Cherenkov emissions from canine cancers within a fraction of radiotherapy. The entire optical spectrum was obtained which includes the window for imaging changes in water and hemoglobin saturation. This lends credence to the goal of using this method during radiotherapy in human patients and client-owned pets.
Project description:Firefly species (Lampyridae) vary in the color of their adult bioluminescence. It has been hypothesized that color is selected to enhance detection by conspecifics. One mechanism to improve visibility of the signal is to increase contrast against ambient light. High contrast implies that fireflies active early in the evening will emit yellower luminescence to contrast against ambient light reflected from green vegetation, especially in habitats with high vegetation cover. Another mechanism to improve visibility is to use reflection off the background to enhance the light signal. Reflectance predicts that sedentary females will produce greener light to maximize reflection off the green vegetation on which they signal. To test these predictions, we recorded over 7500 light emission spectra and determined peak emission wavelength for 675 males, representing 24 species, at 57 field sites across the Eastern United States. We found support for both hypotheses: males active early in more vegetated habitats produced yellower flashes in comparison to later-active males with greener flashes. Further, in two of the eight species with female data, female light emissions were significantly greener as compared to males.
Project description:Cherenkov radiation is induced when charged particles travel through dielectric media (such as biological tissue) faster than the speed of light through that medium. Detection of this radiation or excited luminescence during megavoltage external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) can allow emergence of a new approach to superficial dose estimation, functional imaging, and quality assurance for radiation therapy dosimetry. In this letter, the first in vivo Cherenkov images of a real-time Cherenkoscopy during EBRT are presented. The imaging system consisted of a time-gated intensified charge coupled device (ICCD) coupled with a commercial lens. The ICCD was synchronized to the linear accelerator to detect Cherenkov photons only during the 3.25-?s radiation bursts. Images of a tissue phantom under irradiation show that the intensity of Cherenkov emission is directly proportional to radiation dose, and images can be acquired at 4.7 frames/s with SNR>30. Cherenkoscopy was obtained from the superficial regions of a canine oral tumor during planned, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approved, conventional (therapeutically appropriate) EBRT irradiation. Coregistration between photography and Cherenkoscopy validated that Cherenkov photons were detected from the planned treatment region. Real-time images correctly monitored the beam field changes corresponding to the planned dynamic wedge movement, with accurate extent of overall beam field, and expected cold and hot regions.
Project description:Cherenkov Radiation (CR), this blue glow seen in nuclear reactors, is an optical light originating from energetic ?-emitter radionuclides. CR emitter <sup>90</sup>Y triggers a cascade of energy transfers in the presence of a mixed population of fluorophores (which each other match their respective absorption and emission maxima): Cherenkov Radiation Energy Transfer (CRET) first, followed by multiple Förster Resonance Energy transfers (FRET): CRET ratios were calculated to give a rough estimate of the transfer efficiency. While CR is blue-weighted (300-500?nm), such cascades of Energy Transfers allowed to get a) fluorescence emission up to 710?nm, which is beyond the main CR window and within the near-infrared (NIR) window where biological tissues are most transparent, b) to amplify this emission and boost the radiance on that window: EMT6-tumor bearing mice injected with both a radionuclide and a mixture of fluorophores having a good spectral overlap, were shown to have nearly a two-fold radiance boost (measured on a NIR window centered on the emission wavelength of the last fluorophore in the Energy Transfer cascade) compared to a tumor injected with the radionuclide only. Some CR embarked light source could be converted into a near-infrared radiation, where biological tissues are most transparent.
Project description:Low signal-to-noise ratios and limited imaging depths restrict the ability of optical-imaging modalities to detect and accurately quantify molecular emissions from tissue. Here, by using a scanning external X-ray beam from a clinical linear accelerator to induce Cherenkov excitation of luminescence in tissue, we demonstrate in vivo mapping of the oxygenation of tumours at depths of several millimetres, with submillimetre resolution and nanomolar sensitivity. This was achieved by scanning thin sheets of the X-ray beam orthogonally to the emission-detection plane, and by detecting the signal via a time-gated CCD camera synchronized to the radiation pulse. We also show with experiments using phantoms and with simulations that the performance of Cherenkov-excited luminescence scanned imaging (CELSI) is limited by beam size, scan geometry, probe concentration, radiation dose and tissue depth. CELSI might provide the highest sensitivity and resolution in the optical imaging of molecular tracers in vivo.
Project description:Reversed Cherenkov radiation is the exotic electromagnetic radiation that is emitted in the opposite direction of moving charged particles in a left-handed material. Reversed Cherenkov radiation has not previously been observed, mainly due to the absence of both suitable all-metal left-handed materials for beam transport and suitable couplers for extracting the reversed Cherenkov radiation signal. In this paper, we develop an all-metal metamaterial, consisting of a square waveguide loaded with complementary electric split ring resonators. We demonstrate that this metamaterial exhibits a left-handed behaviour, and we directly observe the Cherenkov radiation emitted predominantly near the opposite direction to the movement of a single sheet electron beam bunch in the experiment. These observations confirm the reversed behaviour of Cherenkov radiation. The reversed Cherenkov radiation has many possible applications, such as novel vacuum electronic devices, particle detectors, accelerators and new types of plasmonic couplers.
Project description:Exciton-polaritons in semiconductor microcavities form a highly nonlinear platform to study a variety of effects interfacing optical, condensed matter, quantum and statistical physics. We show that the complex polariton patterns generated by picosecond pulses in microcavity wire waveguides can be understood as the Cherenkov radiation emitted by bright polariton solitons, which is enabled by the unique microcavity polariton dispersion, which has momentum intervals with positive and negative group velocities. Unlike in optical fibres and semiconductor waveguides, we observe that the microcavity wire Cherenkov radiation is predominantly emitted with negative group velocity and therefore propagates backwards relative to the propagation direction of the emitting soliton. We have developed a theory of the microcavity wire polariton solitons and of their Cherenkov radiation and conducted a series of experiments, where we have measured polariton-soliton pulse compression, pulse breaking and emission of the backward Cherenkov radiation.
Project description:During external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), in vivo Cherenkov optical emissions can be used as a dosimetry tool or to excite luminescence, termed Cherenkov-excited luminescence (CEL) with microsecond-level time-gated cameras. The goal of this work was to develop a complete theoretical foundation for the detectable signal strength, in order to provide guidance on optimization of the limits of detection and how to optimize near real time imaging. The key parameters affecting photon production, propagation and detection were considered and experimental validation with both tissue phantoms and a murine model are shown. Both the theoretical analysis and experimental data indicate that the detection level is near a single photon-per-pixel for the detection geometry and frame rates commonly used, with the strongest factor being the signal decrease with the square of distance from tissue to camera. Experimental data demonstrates how the SNR improves with increasing integration time, but only up to the point where the dominance of camera read noise is overcome by stray photon noise that cannot be suppressed. For the current camera in a fixed geometry, the signal to background ratio limits the detection of light signals, and the observed in vivo Cherenkov emission is on the order of 100×??stronger than CEL signals. As a result, imaging signals from depths??<15?mm is reasonable for Cherenkov light, and depths??<3?mm is reasonable for CEL imaging. The current investigation modeled Cherenkov and CEL imaging of two oxygen sensing phosphorescent compounds, but the modularity of the code allows for easy comparison of different agents or alternative cameras, geometries or tissues.
Project description:Cherenkov radiation is a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature. It describes electromagnetic radiation from a charged particle moving in a medium with a uniform velocity larger than the phase velocity of light in the same medium. Such a picture is typically adopted in the investigation of traditional Cherenkov radiation as well as its counterparts in different branches of physics, including nonlinear optics, spintronics and plasmonics. In these cases, the radiation emitted spreads along a "cone", making it impractical for most applications. Here, we employ a self-accelerating optical pump wave-packet to demonstrate controlled shaping of one type of generalized Cherenkov radiation - dispersive waves in optical fibers. We show that, by tuning the parameters of the wave-packet, the emitted waves can be judiciously compressed and focused at desired locations, paving the way to such control in any physical system.