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Radiation Biophysics: Alpha-Particle Irradiator

In the standard configuration a cell population (either an attached monolayer or a cell suspension of cells such as human lymphocytes) are irradiated with 3.26 MeV alpha-particles (LET 121 keV/mm), with dose rates from 20 Gy min-1 down to <10-4 Gy min-1 (with the ability to incubate cells for extended periods if require). The incident energy (and LET) can also be varied from 4.2 MeV down to the Bragg Peak and below. Due to the short range of the a-particles, cells are usually grown as attached monolayers, but we have previously irradiated lymphocytes and plasmid DNA samples in small spread-out  volumes of known thickness, such that all the volume will be irradiated. We also have the facility to irradiate cells at an angle in order to visualise damage site along the path of the particle.


Selected papers

  • Carter et al (2019) Characterisation of deubiquitylating enzymes in the cellular response to high-LET ionising radiation and complex DNA damage. Int J Radiat Onc Biol Phys. 104, 656-665 [PMID: 30851349]
  • Thompson et al (2019)Tracking down alpha-particles: the design, characterisation and testing of a shallow-angled alpha-particle irradiator. Radiat Prot Dosim 183, 264-269 [PMID: 30726978]
  • Carter et al (2018) Complex DNA damage induced by high-LET α-particles and protons triggers a specific cellular DNA damage response. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys.100, 776-784 [PMID: 29413288]
  • Tracy et al (2015) Variation in RBE for survival of V79-4 cells as a function of alpha-particle (helium ion) energy. Radiat. Res. 182, 33-45[PMID: 26121227]
  • Curwen et al (2012) mFISH Analysis of Chromosome Aberrations Induced In Vitro by α-Particle Radiation: Examination of Dose-Response Relationships, Radiat. Res. 178, 414-424 [PMID: 23083107]
  • Portess et al (2007) Low dose irradiation of non-transformed cells stimulates the selective removal of pre-cancerous cells via intercellular induction of apoptosis, Cancer Res.67, 1246-1253 [PMID: 17283161]
  • Anderson et al (2007)Effect of linear energy transfer (LET) on complexity of a-particle-induced chromosome aberrations in human CD34+cells, Radiat. Res167, 541-550 [PMID: 17474795]