Production and validation of CR-39-based dishes for alpha-particle radiobiological experiments.
Gaillard S., Armbruster V., Hill MA., Gharbi T., Fromm M.
The study of radiobiological effects induced in vitro by low fluences of alpha particles would be significantly enhanced if the precise localization of each particle track in the cell monolayer was known. From this perspective, we developed a new method based on tailor-made UV-radiation-cured CR-39, the production of which is described. Its validation both as a petri dish and as solid-state nuclear track detectors is demonstrated. With respect to the demands on solid-state nuclear track detectors in such experiments, these biologically compatible detectors have a controlled micrometric thickness that allows them to be crossed by the alpha particles. In this study, we present a method for obtaining 10-mum-thick CR-39, its chemical characterization, and its properties as a solid-state nuclear track detector under the environmental conditions of radiobiological experiments. The experimental studies performed with 3.5 MeV alpha particles show that their transmitted energy is sufficient enough to cross the entire cellular volume. Under optimal conditions, etched tracks are clearly defined 2 h after etching. Moreover, the UV-radiation-cured CR-39 represents an essentially zero background that is due to the short time between the production and use of the polymer. Under a confocal microscope, this thin solid-state nuclear track detector allows the precise localization of the impact parameter at the subcellular level.