Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Core-inner-valence ionization of high-Z nanoparticle atomic clusters can de-excite electrons through various interatomic de-excitation processes, thereby leading to the ionization of both directly exposed atoms and adjacent neutral atoms within the nanoparticles, and to an enhancement in photon-electron emission, which is termed the nanoradiator effect. To investigate the nanoradiator-mediated dose enhancement in the radio-sensitizing of high-Z nanoparticles, the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was measured in a gadolinium oxide nanoparticle (Gd-oxide NP) solution under core-inner-valence excitation of Gd with either 50 keV monochromatic synchrotron X-rays or 45 MeV protons. This measurement was compared with either a radiation-only control or a gadolinium-chelate magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent solution containing equal amounts of gadolinium as the separate atomic species in which Gd-Gd interatomic de-excitations are absent. Ionization excitations followed by ROS measurements were performed on nanoparticle-loaded cells or aqueous solutions. Both photoexcitation and proton impact produced a dose-dependent enhancement in the production of ROS by a range of factors from 1.6 to 1.94 compared with the radiation-only control. Enhanced production of ROS, by a factor of 1.83, was observed from Gd-oxide NP atomic clusters compared with the Gd-chelate molecule, with a Gd concentration of 48 μg/mL in the core-level photon excitation, or by a factor of 1.82 under a Gd concentration of 12 μg/mL for the proton impact at 10 Gy (p < 0.02). The enhanced production of ROS in the irradiated nanoparticles suggests the potential for additional therapeutic dose enhancements in radiation treatment via the potent Gd-Gd interatomic de-excitation-driven nanoradiator effect.

Original publication




Journal article


Radiat Environ Biophys

Publication Date





423 - 431


Inner-shell ionization, Interatomic de-excitation, Low-energy electrons, Nanoparticle atomic clusters, Nanoradiator effect, Radiosensitization, Reactive oxygen species, Contrast Media, Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation, Gadolinium, Linear Energy Transfer, Materials Testing, Metal Nanoparticles, Protons, Radiation Dosage, Reactive Oxygen Species, Scattering, Radiation, X-Rays