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Research Focus: Medical Physics

The research focus of medical physics includes the working areas of radiation therapy, biophysics and dosimetry. The basic idea of medical physics research is the application of physical concepts in medicine and the development of techniques and experimental methods for clinical use. The research groups work closely with medical institutions and clinics in the surrounding area, in particular the Klinikum Dortmund, the University Hospital Essen and the West German Proton Therapy Center Essen (WPE).

In radiation therapy, tumors are irradiated with photons or light particles in order to destroy the tumor tissue. The basis for this form of therapy is a very good understanding of the irradiation facilities and the physical processes that occur, as well as patient-specific planning of the irradiation. Within the framework of a graduate college funded by MERCUR, scientists at the TU Dortmund University, the University of Duisburg-Essen and WPE Essen are working on interface topics of physics, chemistry and medicine with the aim of optimizing proton therapy. Alternative methods, in particular brachytherapy, are also being investigated and improved by the departmental research groups in the context of radiation therapy.

The deposition of energy in matter is the basis of therapeutic procedures, but also an undesirable side effect when dealing with ionizing radiation. Working groups of the department develop novel dosimeter systems for radiation protection and investigate dosimetric procedures in clinical practice.

Another focus of the medical physics working groups is on the physics of life processes (biophysics). This involves fundamental questions about the role of physical laws in living systems, as well as the question "What is health?" How do multicellular systems (organs) communicate and form? What determines their organization and growth. How do they adapt to their environment?


For all matters concerning the research focus as a whole, especially in matters of research and teaching, please contact:

Coordinated Programs

The overarching goal of the MERCUR-funded Research Training Group Precision Proton Therapy (PPT) is the structured training of PhD students in the field of proton therapy and work on topics related to the complex process chain. Here, scientists from physics (TU Dortmund University) and chemistry (University of Duisburg-Essen) work at the interface to medicine [UK Essen and West German Proton Therapy Center Essen (WPE)].