Experimental Medical Physics

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Integration and Animal Handling


The small animal proton irradiation platform is designed for horizontal proton beams, to allow for an installation at experimental beamlines of clinical accelerators. In order to have maximum flexibility in the choice of irradiation fields, while avoiding a complex deformation of the animals during rotation, the mice will be treated head up. As SPF or gnotobiotic mice need to be kept in a sterile environment during the whole process, the animals are fixed on a light-weight, yet stable vertical bed, surrounded by a thin gas-tight shell. The container is continuously flushed with anesthetic gas. A heating system is integrated in the bed, the bed temperature is constantly monitored and stabilized.

We have constructed several holder prototypes (see figure for an example), optimized for minimum material budget, access for intra-treatment imaging, simplicity and reliability.

All imaging, beam manipulation and animal support sub-systems are installed on a common mechanical support. We develop the common support base and make sure, that all systems fit and can fulfill their tasks. We ensure the precision and reliability of the transportable platform and develop common tools, such as stepping stages and slow control software, needed by all sub-systems.


Dr. Jona Bortfeldt

Dr. Matthias Würl


Dr. Jona Bortfeldt, Roghieh Haghani, Dr. Matthias Würl