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Ionising radiation can induce responses within non-exposed neighbouring (bystander) cells which potentially have important implications on the estimates of risk from low dose or low dose rate exposures of ionising radiations. A range of strategies have been developed for investigating bystander effects in vitro for both high-LET alpha particles or low-LET ultrasoft X rays using either partial shielding (grids, half-shields and slits) or by using a co-culture system where two physically separated populations of cells can be cultured together, allowing one population of cells to be irradiated while the second population remains unirradiated. The techniques described provide a useful tool to study bystander effects and complement microbeam studies. Studies using these systems show significant increases in the unirradiated bystander cells for various end points including the induction of chromosomal instability in haemopoetic stem cells and transformation in CGL1 cells.

Original publication




Journal article


Radiat Prot Dosimetry

Publication Date





260 - 265


Bystander Effect, Cell Culture Techniques, Cell Line, Coculture Techniques, DNA, DNA Damage, Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation, Equipment Design, Humans, Radiation Dosage, Radiation Tolerance, Radiation, Ionizing, Radiometry, Research, Research Design