Scientific Results

Pulsed radiobiology with laser-driven plasma accelerators

Year: 2011

Authors: Giulietti A., Andreassi M.G., Greco C.

Autors Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, CNR, Area della Ricerca di Pisa via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy; Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica del CNR, Pisa, Italy; Department of Oncology, University of Pisa, Italy

Abstract: Recently, a high efficiency regime of acceleration in laser plasmas has been discovered, allowing table top equipment to deliver doses of interest for radiotherapy with electron bunches of suitable kinetic energy. In view of an R&D program aimed to the realization of an innovative class of accelerators for medical uses, a radiobiological validation is needed. At the present time, the biological effects of electron bunches from the laser-driven electron accelerator are largely unknown. In radiobiology and radiotherapy, it is known that the early spatial distribution of energy deposition following ionizing radiation interactions with DNA molecule is crucial for the prediction of damages at cellular or tissue levels and during the clinical responses to this irradiation. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the radio-biological effects obtained with electron bunches from a laser-driven electron accelerator compared with bunches coming from a IORT-dedicated medical Radio-frequency based linac\’s on human cells by the cytokinesis block micronucleus assay (CBMN). To this purpose a multidisciplinary team including radiotherapists, biologists, medical physicists, laser and plasma physicists is working at CNR Campus and University of Pisa. Dose on samples is delivered alternatively by the \”laser-linac\” operating at ILIL lab of Istituto Nazionale di Ottica and an RF-linac operating for IORT at Pisa S. Chiara Hospital. Experimental data are analyzed on the basis of suitable radiobiological models as well as with numerical simulation based on Monte Carlo codes. Possible collective effects are also considered in the case of ultrashort, ultradense bunches of ionizing radiation.

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KeyWords: Biological effects; Medical applications; Laser plasma; Radiation interactions; PĂ©lasma accelerators; Protons; Radiotherapy
DOI: 10.1117/12.888736

English