In the design of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) systems for in vivo measurements of lead in human bone, the most important considerations are the minimum detectable concentration (MDC), and accuracy and precision. Possible design optimizations can be investigated much more easily and economically by Monte Carlo simulation than by experiment. The specific purpose Monte Carlo code CEARXRF has been used in the present study for: (1) improving the MDC of a hypothesized in vivo 109Cd source-based KXRF system and a 109Cd source or X-ray tube source-based LXRF system by investigating the effects of source polarization and source-bone-detector geometry modification on reducing the scattering background, and (2) investigating the effects of sample variables, such as overlying skin thickness on the MDC and the lead XRF intensity precision. In addition, the feasibility of the Monte Carlo-Library Least-Squares (MCLLS) approach has been investigated in a preliminary fashion for 109Cd-based KXRF spectroscopy analysis.
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