An image guided small animal stereotactic radiotherapy system

Hao Sha, Thirupandiyur S. Udayakumar, Perry B. Johnson, Nesrin Dogan, Alan Pollack, Yidong Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Small animal radiotherapy studies should be performed preferably on irradiators capable of focal tumor irradiation and healthy tissue sparing. In this study, an image guided small animal arc radiation treatment system (iSMAART) was developed which can achieve highly precise radiation targeting through the utilization of onboard cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) guidance. The iSMAART employs a unique imaging and radiation geometry where animals are positioned upright. It consists of a stationary x-ray tube, a stationary flat panel detector, and a rotatable and translational animal stage. System performance was evaluated in regards to imaging, image guidance, animal positioning, and radiation targeting using phantoms and tumor bearing animals. The onboard CBCT achieved good signal, contrast, and sub-millimeter spatial resolution. The iodine contrast CBCT accurately delineated orthotopic prostate tumors. Animal positioning was evaluated with ~0.3 mm vertical displacement along superior-inferior direction. The overall targeting precision was within 0.4 mm. Stereotactic radiation beams conformal to tumor targets can be precisely delivered from multiple angles surrounding the animal. The iSMAART allows radiobiology labs to utilize an image guided precision radiation technique that can focally irradiate tumors while sparing healthy tissues at an affordable cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18825-18836
Number of pages12
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2016


  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Contrast enhancement
  • Image guidance
  • Preclinical radiation research
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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