Recently, a new technology of low-energy ultrashort-pulsed electron beam (UPEB) accelerators has been developed opening new directions for radiobiology and biomedical research. The purpose of this study was to reveal the lethal dose, LD50 (lethal dose, 50%) delivered by low-energy UPEB whole-body exposure on an organismal level. Wistar rats were exposed to low-energy UPEB whole-body irradiation with different doses and pulse repetition rates to find the LD50 and in silico computer simulations were performed to conduct numerical dose calculations. Survival rate, body weight and water consumption were monitored over the 30-day observation period postirradiation. The LD50 was observed after a 2 Gy dose and pulse repetition rate of 2 Hz. In this group, 50% of the animals survived 30 days postirradiation. The groups of animals exposed to low-energy UPEB radiation at higher doses and pulse repetition rates demonstrated higher mortality rates. We demonstrated that the LD50 dose for the low-energy UPEB whole body irradiation in Wistar rats corresponds to 2 Gy with a pulse repetition rate of 2 Hz. Moreover, we showed that the pulse repetition rate is a very important parameter in the experiments with UPEB and should be assessed in the experiments with such kind of novel irradiation sources.
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Vol. 196 • No. 6