What is a dosemap and what does it tell me?

In electron beam processing, a dosemap measures the distribution of dose, typically within a case of medical devices to be sterilized. (The principles also apply to other types of electron beam processing.) We are usually looking to determine the maximum internal dose and the minimum internal dose.

A number of dosimeters are placed within a sample case of product (see below) and it is processed through the beam. The dosimetry results show the distribution of dose throughout the case, and each data point is considered relative to a conveniently-monitored surface dose position.

Dosemap Example (dosimeters in view for illustration)
Dosemap Example
(dosimeters in view for illustration)


These relationships are used to complete a processing plan or sterilization protocol. The product information required includes the minimum dose to achieve sterility or performance criteria and the maximum dose to maintain the intended efficacy and shelf life. Using the dose relationships and the minimum and maximum dose, we can calculate an acceptable surface dose range, which is used to monitor the routine production process.

The protocol may show that a product can be processed by passing through the beam one time, or, as is often the case, it is preferable to irradiate a case from two sides to achieve a more uniform dose distribution throughout the product case.

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