The need for direct methods of measuring the absorbed dose in vivo increases for systemic radiation therapy, and in more sophisticated methodologies developed for radioimmunotherapy. One method suggested is the use of mini-thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD). Recent reports indicate a marked loss of signal when the dosimeters are used in vivo. We investigated the exterior surface of the dosimeters with scanning electron microscopy and the interior dosimeter volume with computed microtomography. The results show that the dosimeters initially have crystals uniformly embedded in the teflon matrix, with some of them directly exposed to the environment. After incubation in gel, holes appear in the dosimeter matrix where the crystals should have been. The computed microtomographic images show that crystals remain in the interior of the matrix, producing the remaining signal. We conclude that these dosimeters should be very carefully handled, and for practical use of mini-TLDs in vivo the dosimeters should be calibrated in equivalent milieus. An alternative solution to the problem of decreased TL efficiency, would be to coat the dosimeters with a thin layer, of Teflon, or other suitable material.