Monte Carlo modeling of an x-ray fluorescence detection system by the MCNP code
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An x-ray fluorescence detection system has been designed by our research group for quantifying the amount of gold nanoparticles presented within the phantom and animals during gold nanoparticle-aided cancer detection and therapy procedures. The primary components of the system consist of a microfocus x-ray source, a Pb beam collimator, and a CdTe photodiode detector. In order to optimize and facilitate future experimental tasks, a Monte Carlo model of the detection system has been created by using the MCNP5 code. Specifically, the model included an x-ray source, a Pb collimator, a CdTe detector, and an acrylic plastic phantom with four cylindrical columns where various materials such as gold nanoparticles, aluminum, etc. can be inserted during the experiments. In this model, 110 kVp x-rays emitted into a 60o cone from the focal spot of the x-ray source were collimated to a circular beam with a diameter of 5 mm. The collimated beam was then delivered to the plastic phantom with and without a gold nanoparticle-containing column. The fluence of scattered and gold fluorescence x-rays from the phantom was scored within the detector's sensitive volume resulting in various photon spectra and compared with the spectra acquired experimentally under the same geometry. The results show that the current Monte Carlo model can produce the results comparable to those from actual experiments and therefore it would serve as a useful tool to optimize and troubleshoot experimental tasks necessary for the development of gold nanoparticle-aided cancer detection and therapy procedures.