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14 February 2012 Radiation Dose Detection by Imaging Response in Biological Targets
B. Jakob, M. Durante
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Imaging was one of the earliest techniques to quantify radiation dose. While films and active fluorescent detectors are still commonly used in physical dosimetry, biological imaging is emerging as a new method to visualize and quantify radiation dose in biological targets. Methods for biological imaging are normally based on molecular fluorescent probes, labeling chromatin-conjugated molecules or specific repair proteins. Examples are chromatin-binding coumarin compounds, which become fluorescent under irradiation, or the H2AX histone, which is rapidly phosphorylated at sites of DNA double-strand breaks and can be visualized by immunostaining. Many other DNA repair proteins can be expressed with fluorescent targets, such as green fluorescent protein, thus becoming visible for dose estimation in vivo. The possibility to visualize radiation damage in living biological targets is particularly important for repair kinetic studies, for estimating individual radiation response, and for remote control of living samples exposed to radiation, for instance in robotic space missions. In vivo dose monitoring in particle therapy exploits the production of positron emitters by nuclear interaction of the incident beam in the patient's body. Positron emission tomography (PET) can then be used to visualize and quantify the particle dose in the patient, and it can in principle also be used for radiotherapy with high-energy X rays. Alternatively, prompt γ rays or scattered secondary particles are under study for in vivo dosimetry of ion beams in therapy.

B. Jakob and M. Durante "Radiation Dose Detection by Imaging Response in Biological Targets," Radiation Research 177(4), 524-532, (14 February 2012).
Received: 20 September 2010; Accepted: 1 November 2010; Published: 14 February 2012

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