A dosimetry studyof deuterium-deuterium neutron generator-based in vivo neutronactivation analysis

Daniel Sowers, Yingzi Liu, Farshad Mostafaei, Scott Blake, Linda H. Nie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A neutron irradiation cavity for in vivo neutron activation analysis (IVNAA) to detect manganese, aluminum, and other potentially toxic elements in human hand bone has been designed and its dosimetric specifications measured. The neutron source is a customized deuterium-deuterium neutron generator that produces neutrons at 2.45 MeV by the fusion reaction 2H(d, n)3He at a calculated flux of 7 × 10 ± 30% s-1. A moderator/reflector/shielding [5 cm high density polyethylene (HDPE), 5.3 cm graphite and 5.7 cm borated (HDPE)] assembly has been designed and built to maximize the thermal neutron flux inside the hand irradiation cavity and to reduce the extremity dose and effective dose to the human subject. Lead sheets are used to attenuate bremsstrahlung x rays and activation gammas. A Monte Carlo simulation (MCNP6) was used to model the system and calculate extremity dose. The extremity dose was measured with neutron and photon sensitive film badges and Fuji electronic pocket dosimeters (EPD). The neutron ambient dose outside the shielding was measured by Fuji NSN3, and the photon dose was measured by a Bicron MicroREM scintillator. Neutron extremity dose was calculated to be 32.3 mSv using MCNP6 simulations given a 10-min IVNAA measurement of manganese. Measurements by EPD and film badge indicate hand dose to be 31.7 ± 0.8 mSv for neutrons and 4.2 ± 0.2 mSv for photons for 10 min; whole body effective dose was calculated conservatively to be 0.052 mSv. Experimental values closely match values obtained from MCNP6 simulations. These are acceptable doses to apply the technology for a manganese toxicity study in a human population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-572
Number of pages7
JournalHealth physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Mixed field dosimetry
  • Neutron activation
  • Neutron detection
  • Neutron dosimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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