The absence of proper nanoscale experimental techniques to investigate the dose-enhancing properties of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) interacting with radiation has prompted the development of various Monte Carlo (MC)-based nanodosimetry techniques that generally require considerable computational knowledge, time and specific tools/platforms. Thus, this study investigated a hybrid computational framework, based on the electron dose point kernel (DPK) method, by combining Geant4 MC simulations with an analytical approach. This hybrid framework was applied to estimate the dose distributions around GNPs due to the secondary electrons emitted from GNPs irradiated by various photon sources. Specifically, the equivalent path length approximation was used to rescale the homogeneous DPKs for heterogeneous GNPs embedded in water/tissue. Compared with Geant4 simulations, the hybrid framework halved calculation time while utilizing fewer computer resources, and also resulted in mean discrepancies less than 20 and 5% for Yb-169 and 6 MV photon irradiation, respectively. Its appropriateness and computational efficiency in handling more complex cases were also demonstrated using an example derived from a transmission electron microscopy image of a cancer cell containing internalized GNPs. Overall, the currently proposed hybrid computational framework can be a practical alternative to full-fledged MC simulations, benefiting a wide range of GNP- and radiation-related applications.
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