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Survival of mammalian cells exposed to ultrahigh dose rates from a laser-produced plasma x-ray source

  • Carl Tillman
  • Gustav Grafström
  • Ann-Charlotte Jonsson
  • Bo-Anders Jönsson
  • Ian Mercer
  • Sören Mattsson
  • Sven-Erik Strand
  • Sune Svanberg
Publishing year: 1999
Language: English
Pages: 860-865
Publication/Series: Radiology
Volume: 213
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Radiological Society of North America

Abstract english

PURPOSE: To determine whether intense laser-produced x rays have an increased radiation hazard. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Mammalian cells were exposed to x rays from a laser-produced plasma that produced ultrahigh peak absorbed dose rates, up to a factor of 10(10) higher than those produced by conventional x rays used in imaging. The cell survival was studied as a function of the absorbed dose. The survival of mammalian cells exposed to high peak absorbed dose rates with laser-produced x rays was compared with the survival of cells exposed to standard absorbed dose rates with conventional x-ray sources. Comparative survival studies were performed by using a conventional x-ray tube and a cobalt 60 source. The absorbed doses in the irradiation field were measured with thermoluminescent dosimeters. RESULTS: Cell survival following irradiation by filtered, laser-produced x rays with a high dose rate was not markedly different from the survival following irradiation by conventional sources. There was, however, a notable difference between the survival after exposure to filtered, laser-produced x rays and the survival after exposure to unfiltered laser-produced x rays. CONCLUSION: Exposure to filtered, laser-produced x rays with a high dose rate does not lead to increased harm to mammalian cells exposed in vitro compared with the harm from exposure to x rays from conventional sources, which indicates that the use of high-power laser facilities for medical imaging is justified


  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • Medical Radiation Physics, Malmö
  • ISSN: 1527-1315
Sven-Erik Strand
E-mail: sven-erik [dot] strand [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Project manager

Systemic Radiation Therapy Group


Professor emeritus

Medical Radiation Physics, Lund