Little Linac building block kit, 2019


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'The Little Linac' building brick kit given free of charge to children undergoing radiotherapy treatment for cancer, to
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

'Little Linac building brick kit for children undergoing radiotherapy treatment for cancer, to build a model linear accelerator, containing 82 building blocks, box and instruction leaflet, developed by Professor David Brettle, Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) in collaboration with manufacturers Best-Lock Ltd, 2019

Using the 82 building blocks, a child can make four of the machines they may encounter during their cancer treatment – a linear accelerator or linac, one of the most common radiotherapy machines, a MRI scanner, a CT scanner and a gamma camera. It is hoped that through play the stress and anxiety undergoing treatment may be reduced. Radiotherapy for anyone, especially children can be a daunting experience, particularly as they must be alone during the treatment due to the radiation risks. As a way of signalling the end of their treatment, children are then encouraged to come up with new ways of using the bricks.

David Brettle came up with the idea for the ‘Little Linac’ during his time as President of the IPEM (Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine). The idea was trialled at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust before being launched in September 2018. IPEM partnered with the British Institute of Radiology, the Royal College of Radiologists, and the Society and College of Radiographers to spread the word about the Little Linac kits. IPEM hope to provide the kits free of charge to children undergoing radiotherapy in the United Kingdom.


Object Number:
cardboard, paper and plastic
model - representation
  • visual and verbal communication
  • furnishing and equipment
Best-Lock (Asia) ltd, Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine; The British institute of Radiology; The Royal College of Radiologists; The Society & College of Radiographers

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