Design and characterization of a dynamic multileaf collimator

Gianfranco Loi, Emanuele Pignoli, Marta Scorsetti, Vincenzo Cerreta, Anna Somigliana, Renato Marchesini, Alberto Gramaglia, Ugo Cerchiari, Sante Basso Ricci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The characteristics of a prototype computer-assisted dynamic multileaf collimator (DMLC), specifically designed for small-field conformal radiotherapy, were evaluated at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan. The collimating device consists of two opposing banks of 16 pairs of 8 cm thick, 3.6 mm wide tungsten leaves and allows shaping of a radiation field up to a size of 10 x 10 cm2 at the isocentre. The screening thickness of each leaf is 6.25 mm at the accelerator gantry isocentre. The leaves have a trapezoidal cross section and move along an arched path, thus providing a 'double focused' collimation system. The DMLC was installed on the head of a Varian Clinac 2100C linear accelerator. Mechanical and dosimetric evaluations were performed to test the stability of the mechanical isocentre and to determine leaf leakage, penumbra width, accuracy of leaf positions and uniformity of leaf speed. Displacement of the mechanical isocentre was less than 1 mm at all gantry angles. Standard radiographic films exposed to 6 MV x-ray radiation were used for dosimetric evaluations. Leakage between leaves was less than 2.5%, and leakage through abutted leaves was less than 5.5%. The penumbra width between 20% and 80% isodose at different positions of leaf banks was 2.7 mm in the direction of the leaf motion and 3.1 mm along the side of the leaf with a standard deviation of 0.2 mm in both directions. Accuracy in the positioning of the leaf was 0.3 mm, whereas the maximum repositioning error was less than 0.2 mm. Finally, during movement of the leaves at the maximum speed of 0.5 mm s-1, the standard deviation of the leaf positioning error was 0.2 mm, proving an accurate uniformity of leaf speed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3149-3155
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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