Monte Carlo simulation of electrons stopping in liquid water was used to model the penetration and quality of electron-beam irradiation incident on the full-thickness EpiDermTM skin model (EpiDermFTTM MatTek, Ashland, VA). This 3D tissue model has a fully developed basement membrane separating an epidermal layer of keratinocytes in various stages of differentiation from a dermal layer of fibroblasts embedded in collagen. The simulations were motivated by a desire to selectively expose the epidermal layer to low-linear energy transfer (LET) radiation in the presence of a nonirradiated dermal layer. The variable-energy electron microbeam at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) was used as a model of device characteristics and irradiation geometry. At the highest beam energy available (90 keV), we estimate that no more than a few percent of the beam energy will be deposited in the dermal layer. Energy deposition spectra were calculated for 10-µm-thick layers near the 10th, 50th and 90th percentiles of penetration by the 90 keV electron beam. Bimodal spectra showed an increasing component of “stoppers” with increasing depth, which increases the probability of large energy deposition events. Nevertheless, screening by tissue above the layer of interest is the main factor determining energy deposited at a given depth.
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Vol. 175 • No. 1