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IMovable bed or scanning detector geometry  in a labyrinth shield

In Vivo Counters to
Measure Radionuclides on the Human Body

Using HPGe and/or NaI detectors with lead, steel & Cu shields, for individual measurement geometries.

Introduction to
Incorporation Monitoring

When handling open radioactive substances and due to radioactive accidents or contaminations but also neutron activations it may occur that radionuclides are incorporated into the body, e.g. by inhalation, ingestion, through the skin or through an open wound.

This leads to internal radiation exposure.

It is the task of incorporation monitoring to assess the internal doses retrospectively whether for workers or people of public.

The body dose can be composed of internal and external radiation exposure, depending on conta-mination or working conditions, the path of intake, the chemical form of the substances and the type of radionuclides.

Methodes of Responsibility

The monitoring of incorporations are regulated in the National Guideline of Physical Radiation Protection Control. The following monitoring methods for the

determination of the incorporated activities are

It is our (ISuS) challenge to offer only systems with outstanding detection limits (LLD)

commonly used:

  • In-vivo methods: Direct determination of activities in the body and the organs.

  • In-vitro methods: Determination of activity concentration in excretions.

  • Room air measurements: Determination of activity concentration in the air at work-places (labs) or habitats.

  • Contamination measurements on the body and at workplaces (labs) or habitats.

Retrospective Assessment

It is the task of incorporation monitoring to assess doses retrospectively. In general, if people of public or workers are occupationally exposed by handling open radioactive sources or after a nuclear event, incorporation monitoring is necessary. The incorpo-rated activities are determined and the body dose resulting from this uptake is assessed using the monitoring data.

Determining of body and organ activities using in-vivo counters is of enormous presence to

protect workers but also the population

after radioactive releases.

Techniques of Investigation

In-vivo monitors

Incorporation monitors (In-vivo counters) are designed to protect workers and people of public in the field of medical therapy and diagnostic, fertilizer and oil industry, waste and military applications, NPP’s, industry, universities, national and research institutes as well as miners and further fields of applications.


Types of in-vivo monitoring geometries we realised:

  • Whole an Partial body counters WBC, PBC

    • Fix and variable detector positions

    • Scanning bed and scanning detector technologies

  • Organ counters:

    • Lung & Liver counter LC,

    • Stomach counter SC,

    • Bone counter BC: head, knee and back

  • Special counters:

    • Thyroid counter TC and scanner TS

    • Beta/Gamma counter BGC

    • Individual research counter IRC


Types of shielding geometries we realised:

  • Heavy labyrinth version for basement (variable geometries, lowest LLD)

  • Heavy chamber version for basement (fix geometry, lowest LLD)

  • Standard room version with light shadow shields inside (open space, medium LLD)

  • Mobile chamber version with light shadow shields inside (driveable, medium LLD)


Types of detector we used:

  • HPGe-, Si(Li)-, Cd(Tl)-, NaI-, BGO-, Scintillation- & Proportional Detectors

Important radionuclides to be measured:

  • All measurable radionuclides from: natural primordial/cosmogenic & anthropogenics

  • Incorporations from medical therapy and diagnostic, fertilizer and oil industry, waste and military applications as well as phosphate and other mines.

  • Natural radionuclides are: U-238, Th-232, U-235 with their daughters as well as Ra-226, 228, 225 and their daughters like Pb-210 but also K-40, Cs-137 and additional nuclides of interest like actinides such as Pu-isotopes.

  • Energy range: 20 keV up to 3 MeV

  • It covers also fission and activation products, e.g from full-outs and workplace contaminations as well as Pu isotopes in the lung.

  • Some radionuclides as K-40, Cs-137, Th-isotopes are homogeneously distributed in the body tissue and muscles.

  • U-, Ra- and Sr-isotopes but also Pb-210 are deposited mostly in the bones if ingestion is the primary path of intake and in the lung if inhalation is the primary way of intake.

State of the art technology

Install state-of-the-art incorporation monitoring technologies

to measure γ-rays with high resolution HPGe and/or NaI detectors in labyrinth, fully or shaddow shielded lead spaces/chambers for all measuring geometries (whole & partly body as well organs) on the human body.
Applicable for homogeneous and inhomogeneous distributed radionuclides in the human body emits γ- and β-rays as well as Bremsstrahlung.


Below are some examples for in-vivo monitors:


Partial Body Counter

University Medical Center Graz

Shadow shielded HPGe/BGO partial body counter to measuring children and adults under supervision of nurse and/or mother in a standard room


Whole Body Counter

BfS Munich Germany

Labyrinth shielded measuring chamber using 4 HPGe & NaI detectors in bed geometry to measure the total body radioactivity (picture with IGOR calibration phantom).


Whole Body Counter

Seibersdorf Laboratories Austria

Partially shielded measuring room using 2 shielded HPGe detectors in scanning bed geometry to measure the total body radioactivity (picture with bottles calibration phantom).


Lung counter

KWU Germany

Fully shielded compact measuring chamber using four HPGe detectors for medium-energies to measure occupational people working with open radioactive materials


Scanning whole body counter


Fully shielded measuring chamber using 3 HPGe detectors in scan bed geometry to measure the total body radioactivity distribution


Sr-90/Cs-137 counter

BfS Munich Germany 

Special mobile incorporation monitor using a shaddow shield design for beta and photon head measurements and for simultaneously photon stomach measurements. 

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