The Xstrahl small animal radiation research platform (SARRP) is a customizable and powerful research platform designed to enable researchers with the ability to engage in the most technically innovated, clinically relevant and reproducible studies. It contains a 225kV X−ray tube, X−ray controller, SARRP interface and PC, robotic specimen stage, safety interlock system, cone−beam CT imaging system and integrated shielding. The SARRP platform is isoflurane anesthesia compatible, and can be used for in vivo testing of tumor and normal tissue response. The SAARP incorporates CT imaging with precise radiation delivery to enable researchers to pinpoint an exact anatomical target and confidently deliver 0.5 mm beams to that point.
Typically, imaging, target identification and radiation exposure time are calculated and delivered in approximately 10 minutes for a single isocenter. For mice, higher throughput can be achieved using an animal holder that can secure up to three animals at a time. The specimen immobilization devices are CT and MRI compatible and can be used for both imaging and irradiation. A laser system enables visual confirmation of initial animal positioning, while a CCD camera system enables the specimen to be monitored during image acquisition and irradiation exposures. The platform’s open structure allows the specimen and ancillary equipment to be easily positioned without compromising the radiation field setup. The image guided planning system enable both simple and complex beam arrangements to be created and the dose distribution to be visualized and delivered to predefined targets.The CT data can be viewed and manipulated in three planes — sagittal, coronal and transverse — allowing easy and accurate target identification.
MRI compatible immobilization devices allow straightforward import of image data sets for image fusion within SARRP. The SARRP planning system enables researchers to quickly construct both simple and complex beam arrangements. The dose distribution is calculated in a few seconds on the GPU and the resulting treatment plan is reported. The SARRP platform has the highest degree of geometric accuracy, 0.25mm about the isocenter. The beam collimators range in field size from 0.5mm diameter up to 6cm square, with dose rates of up to 350cGy/min at 35cm FSD. Single 0.5mm beams or multiple beams can be delivered, while robotic calibration procedures verify the accuracy of the isocenter.