Maintaining Radiation Oncology Equipment

Biomedical equipment technicians have the arduous job of repairing medical equipment used in hospitals and various health practitioner’s office. These machines are quite complex and carry out work that the normal human being can’t such as processing x-rays into visible images or magnifying test samples thousands of times, therefore any glitch, malfunction, or downtime is unacceptable because it can affect the entire medical procedure, which in all cases, is life-saving.

Technical Skills Involved With LINAC Servicing

Servicing LINAC systems takes a certain level of technical skills and the use of both mechanical skills and software know-how to fix the delicate parts of a linear accelerator. A LINAC uses microwave technology to create high energy electron beams or X-rays known as Photons beams. When these high-energy photons are created they are then directed to a patient’s tumor and are shaped as they exit the LINAC to conform to the tumor

Servicing linear accelerators is time-consuming, nonetheless, they can be successfully operated, maintained and repaired, but only when done by people with a background experience in capacity building, installing, commissioning, calibrating, servicing and repairing linear accelerators. Components of a LINAC are highly sensitive suffice it to say, costly. Take, for example; the drive stand comprises of the klystron, which is also used in high energy physics, provides medical linacs with the source of microwave power to accelerate the electrons by amplifying introduced radio frequency electromagnetic waves. The job of biomedical equipment technicians is to not only get it right the first time but also to ensure that they check their work for any anomalies to alleviate future disruptions.

Components Of An Accelerator

Other components that a technician must check when servicing linear accelerators are the RF waveguide, the circulator, which connects the klystron and the RF waveguide, and the cooling water system, all, which are vital components of the drive stand that needs to work at optimal capacity. Additionally, the modular cabinet of the LINAC systems, which is located in the treatment room, contains three subcomponents that also need to work symbiotically. They are:

  • The power distribution system
  • The fan control that cools the power distribution system
  • The auxiliary power distribution system which contains off button that shuts down the power to the LINAC in case of an emergency

The water cooling system that is located in the drive stand and gantry cannot be allowed to fail at any moment because not only does it provide thermal stability to the whole LINAC system, but it also allows all the components in the gantry and drive stand to operate at a constant temperature.

Equally so, the monitor ionizing chambers used to screen field symmetry, integrated dose and dose range, as well as the multi-leaf collimators (MLCs) that are used to create a block that spares normal tissue and direct the radiation dose to the tumor, are two important elements in the treatment delivery of radiotherapy.

Checked and Maintained For Accuracy

They, therefore, must be checked when servicing linear accelerators to ensure that there are accurate dosimetry, mechanical precision, and imaging during RT treatment.

Acceletronics is an independent service company dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from Linear Accelerators and CT Scanners across all major brands and models. Learn more about Acceletronics and their selection of new and refurbished linear accelerators and CT scanners today at  To contact one of our LINAC experts call 610.524.3300.

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