Measurement of α particle energy loss in biological tissue below 2 MeV

S. Stella, S. Bortolussi, P. Bruschi, C. Portella, S. Altieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The energy loss of α particles crossing biological tissue at energies between 0.8 and 2.2 MeV has been measured. This energy range is very important for boron neutron capture therapy, based on the 10B(n,α)7Li reaction, which emits α particles with energies of 1.78 and 1.47 MeV. One of the methods used for the measurement of the boron concentration in tissue is based on the deconvolution of the α spectra obtained from neutron irradiation of thin (70 μm) tissue samples. For this technique, a knowledge of the behaviour of the energy loss of the particles in the irradiated tissue is of critical importance. In particular, the curve of the residual energy as a function of the distance travelled in the tissue must be known. In this paper, the results of an experiment carried out with an 241Am source and a series of cryostatic sections of rat-lung tissue are presented. The experimental measurements are compared with the results of Monte Carlo calculations performed with the MCNPX code.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2938-2943
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Alpha spectrometry
  • Boron neutron capture therapy
  • Energy loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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