A simple in vitro alpha radiation exposure system (ARES) was designed to study the biological effects of alpha particle radiation. The ARES consists of six 241Am electroplated stainless steel discs with activities averaging 66 kBq and Mylar-based culture dishes to allow the transmission of alpha particles. The dosimetry of the exposure system was calculated using the GEANT4 Monte Carlo simulation toolkit with the source code adapted from the open-source Microbeam example. The average dose rate and linear energy transfer of the system was simulated to be 0.98 0.01 (statistical)+0.18 -0.00 (systematic) Gy h-1 and 127.4 0.4 (statistical) +23-0 (systematic) keV νm-1, respectively. The system was characterized by a comparison of the survival curves of gamma and alpha irradiated cell lines which showed a relative biological effectiveness of 6.3. This is in good agreement with values obtained using other published alpha particle exposure systems. Results show that the ARES provides a simple, cost-effective exposure platform for research into the biological effects of alpha particle radiation using in vitro modelling of cell cultures.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/56/12/012
Journal Physics in Medicine and Biology
Beaton, L.A. (Lindsay A.), Burn, T.A. (Trevor A.), Stocki, T.J. (Trevor J.), Chauhan, V. (Vinita), & Wilkins, R.C. (2011). Development and characterization of an in vitro alpha radiation exposure system. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 56(12), 3645–3658. doi:10.1088/0031-9155/56/12/012