Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE MPH2001

 
TITLE Medical Radiation Physics and Biology

 
LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 3

 
DEPARTMENT Medical Physics

 
DESCRIPTION This study-unit provides the fundamentals of Medical Radiation Physics and Biology which form the basis for the three specialties of Medical Physics which involve ionising radiation and non-ionising radiations, i.e., Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Dentistry, Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine. They are also the basis for medical, industrial and environmental Radiation Protection. The unit follows the recommendations regarding core expertise to be found in the EC documents 'European Guidelines on the Medical Physics Expert' and 'Requirements and methodology for recognition of Radiation Protection Experts'.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:
- Help students acquire the fundamental Medical Radiation Physics and Radiation Biology knowledge and skills which form the basis for the three specialties of Medical Physics which involve ionising radiation and non-ionising radiations, i.e., Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Dentistry, Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine;
- Present the fundamental Medical Radiation Physics and Radiation Biology knowledge and skills which form the basis for medical, industrial and environmental Radiation Protection;
- Provide necessary practice in associated mathematical and statistical skills.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Explain in detail and quantitatively ionising and non-ionising radiation sensors. In the case of ionising explain gas-filled (including cavity theory, Bragg-Gray principle, conversion of charge to absorbed dose), semiconductor, scintillation-optical systems (solids and liquids), TL, OSL, films (including radiochromic) and the following characteristics of ionizing radiation sensors: energy spectrum and resolution, counting curves and plateau, detection efficiency and energy response, dead time, detection threshold and temporal resolution;
- Explain the main electronic modules used to acquire and process signals from ionising and non-ionising radiation sensors (e.g., amplification, pulse shaping, discriminators, pulse height analyzers, counters, coincidence and veto logic gates);
- Explain quantitatively and in detail the properties and means of production and control of ionising and non-ionizing electromagnetic radiations, particulate radiation beams and ultrasound used in healthcare including the characteristics of the radiation fields in both air and tissue;
- Distinguish between ionising radiations with a direct or indirect mechanism for energy transfer and deposition;
- Explain quantitatively and in detail the interactions of ionising and non-ionising electromagnetic radiations, particulate radiation, ultrasound, static electric and magnetic fields with inanimate and animate matter;
- Explain quantitatively the interactions with inorganic and organic matter of ionising and non-ionising radiations at the atomic, molecular, cellular, tissue and macroscopic levels relevant to medical devices and patient/occupational/public risks;
- Explain the statistics of nuclear decay, photon / particle interactions with matter and ionizing radiation measurement;
- Explain quantitatively using biological models the beneficial and adverse biological effects of ionizing and non-ionising radiations associated with medical devices, the factors influencing the magnitude of the biological effect and the way these can be managed to improve clinical outcomes. In the case of ionizing radiation this would include radiobiological models, radiation epidemiology, mutagenesis, carcinogenesis (including leukaemogenesis), genetic effects on offspring from irradiation of gametes, teratogenic effects on the conceptus, skin effects, eye cataracts, cell survival curves, linear-quadratic model, absorbed dose, type of radiation (RBE, radiation weighting factor), tissue radiosensitivity (LET, RBE, tissue weighting factor), dose rate, presence of radiosensitisers, oxygen and radioprotectors, age, dose-effect relationships;
- Define and explain in detail the dosimetric quantities (including units and inter-relationships e.g., between energy fluence, kerma and absorbed dose for photon beams including the concept of charged particle equilibrium) used to assess beneficial or adverse biological effects or monitor ionizing and non-ionizing radiations used in the various specialties of medical physics and explain the method used for their measurement / calculation;
- Define and measure/calculate the operational quantities used in occupational/public dosimetry (e.g., ambient, directional and personal dose equivalents at recommended depth, annual limit on intake, derived air concentration, ambient H*(10), directional H’(0.07, angle) and personal dose equivalents, i.e.: depth dose equivalent HP(10) and skin dose equivalent HP(0.07) for external photon radiation);
- Explain the requirements for, and the practical implementation of, appropriate systems for the monitoring of radiation dose to the worker, including extremity doses and dose limits for pregnant and lactating workers, and young workers and for the public, including selection, management and calibration of devices used to measure such doses, dose records and techniques for dose measurement;
- Explain quantitatively the structure, operation and advantages / disadvantages of the various types of patient/personal dosimeters and area/contamination monitoring instruments available for the various types of ionising and non-ionising radiation including criteria for selection (e.g., accuracy, precision, uncertainties, linearity, any dose rate / energy / directional dependence, spatial resolution, physical size, read out convenience and convenience of use), management, calibration, traceability (including international traceability framework) and user protocols (in the case of ionizing radiation dosimetry including cavity theory);
- Explain in detail the application of the principles of optimization in the various specialties of medical physics including the use of DRLs, dose constraints, OARs, etc;
- Explain and apply the principles of dose limitation in the various specialties of medical physics;
- Explain the principles of patient/occupational/public risk assessment/management as applied to medical devices and associated ionizing/ non-ionising radiations in the various specialties of medical physics practice; and
- Explain the principles of radiation protection in medicine, industry and environmental protection.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Apply mathematical skills to solve problems in medical ionising radiation physics and radiation biology; and
- Apply statistical methods to variabilities and uncertainties associated with the measurement of radiation.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main

- IAEA. (2005). Radiation Oncology Physics - A Handbook for Teachers and Students.
- IAEA. (2014). Diagnostic Radiology Physics - A Handbook for Teachers and Students.
- IAEA. (2014). Nuclear Medicine Physics - A Handbook for Teachers and Students.
- Brown, B. H., Smallwood R. H. et al. (1998). Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. IoP Publishing.
- Martin, A., Harbison S., Beach K., et al. (2018). An Introduction to Radiation Protection. CRC.
- IAEA. (2009). Clinical Training of Medical Physicists Specializing in Radiation Oncology. Training Course Series 37.
- IAEA. (2010). Clinical Training of Medical Physicists Specializing in Diagnostic Radiology. Training Course Series 47.
- IAEA. (2011). Clinical Training of Medical Physicists Specializing in Nuclear Medicine. Training Course Series 50.
- Emerald-Emit Project. (2003). Project website: http://emerald2.eu/cd/Emerald2/

Supplementary

- Knoll, G. F. (2010). Radiation Detection and Measurement. Wiley.
- Del Guerra, A. (2004).Ionizing Radiation Detectors for Medical Imaging. World Scientific.
- Wood, A. W. & Karipidis, K. (Eds). (2017). Non-ionizing Radiation Protection: Summary of Research and Policy Options. Wiley.

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Tutorial

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) 100%

 
LECTURER/S

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

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