Eckelmann developed and delivered the medical control systems for particle accelerator (linear accelerator and synchrotron) and therapy area in the Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Center.

Large-scale medical systems

Computed tomography image with superimposed dose distribution. (Source: Heidelberg University Hospital)
Computed tomography image with superimposed dose distribution. (Source: Heidelberg University Hospital)

Since November 2009, patients with poorly accessible tumours such as brain tumours are being treated at the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT). The HIT, which is run by Heidelberg University Hospital, is the first hospital-based treatment facility at a clinic in Europe where patients can be treated with protons (hydrogen nuclei) as well as with heavy ions (such as carbon).

Ion beams penetrate into the body without damaging healthy tissue. Precisely targeted and controlled via beam intensity, the ions release their destructive energy with pinpoint accuracy only in the tumour tissue.

The associated control systems place the highest demands on the safety, reliability and precision of control technology. As a subcontractor of Siemens Healthcare, Eckelmann in the field of medical automation has pioneered the medical use of ion beams. Further facilities with the participation of Eckelmann are currently under planning and construction.

Major tasks of the accelerator control system

Computed tomography image with superimposed dose distribution. (Source: Heidelberg University Hospital)
Computed tomography image with superimposed dose distribution. (Source: Heidelberg University Hospital)
  • Automated ion beam generation, guidance and monitoring according to the requirements of the therapy control system
  • Support of beam adjustment and optimisation through automated routines

Basic conditions

  • Control of more than 250 devices (magnets, high-frequency facilities, beam diagnostic devices, etc.)
  • Time resolution in controlling: 1 µs, partly 125 ns
  • Synchronicity <= 1 µs for more than 30 s
The illustration impressively shows the beam guidance and the three treatment rooms in the Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Center HIT. (Source: Heidelberg University Hospital)
The illustration impressively shows the beam guidance and the three treatment rooms in the Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Center HIT. (Source: Heidelberg University Hospital)

Major tasks of the therapy control system

Prior to the ion-beam treatment, the patient is accurately positioned with the aid of a laser beam. (Source: Heidelberg University Hospital)
Prior to the ion-beam treatment, the patient is accurately positioned with the aid of a laser beam. (Source: Heidelberg University Hospital)
  • Reservation and arbitration of the treatment places to the accelerator
  • Request and targeted application of a defined ion beam according to given treatment plans
  • Monitoring and, if required, quick interruption of the ion beam during treatment
  • Coordination of numerous associated sub-systems

The therapy control system was designed and produced in accordance with the strict guidelines of the German Medical Devices Act.


Contact
Dipl.-Ing. Lothar Rössler

Lothar Rössler
Head of Sales Department
Tel.: +49 611 7103-175


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