Vol 25, No 5 (2020)
Original research articles
Published online: 2020-09-01

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Characterization of natural rubber as a bolus material for electron beam radiotherapy

Lukkana Apipunyasopon1, Chalitpon Chaloeiparp2, Thanayut Wiriyatharakij3, Nakorn Phaisangittisakul4
DOI: 10.1016/j.rpor.2020.06.006
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2020;25(5):725-729.



Bolus is an accessory that is directly placed on the surface region to shift the radiation dose up to the skin during high energy photon and electron beam irradiations. The aim of this study was to mold the bolus using natural rubber material and assess both the physical and dosimetric characteristics.

Materials and methods

A natural rubber with additional plasticizer material was fabricated as a bolus sheet. The physical properties of natural rubber bolus sheets have been investigated using computed tomography (CT) images. Gafchromic EBT3 films were used to acquire the dose at depth of 0, 2, 3, and 3.5 cm for the 9-MeV therapeutic electron beam. A comparison of our natural rubber bolus sheets to the commercial bolus sheets was studied.


The in-house natural rubber bolus sheets with the thickness of 0.32 and 0.52 cm were successfully made. Relative electron density of the two sheets was consistent with each other. However, similar to the commercial boluses, the natural rubber boluses were not provided with the same CT number over the whole sheet. Different bolus material gave different dose at the surface. Both material and thickness of the bolus showed a stronger impact on the dose beyond the depth of maximum dose.


Because of the density, simple fabrication, and vast availability, natural rubber material has an effective potential to be used as a bolus sheet in radiotherapy

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Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy