Induction of Micronuclei in Human Fibroblasts across the Bragg Curve of Energetic Si and Fe IonsThe space environment consists of a varying field of radiation particles including high-energy ions, with spacecraft shielding material providing the major protection to astronauts from harmful exposure. Unlike low-LET gamma or X-rays, the presence of shielding does not always reduce the radiation risks for energetic charged particle exposure. Since the dose delivered by the charged particle increases sharply as the particle approaches the end of its range, a position known as the Bragg peak, the Bragg curve does not necessarily represent the biological damage along the particle traversal since biological effects are influenced by the track structure of both primary and secondary particles. Therefore, the biological Bragg curve is dependent on the energy and the type of the primary particle, and may vary for different biological endpoints. We studied micronuclei (MN) induction across the Bragg curve of Si and Fe ions at incident energies of 300 MeV/nucleon and 1 GeV/nucleon. A quantitative biological response curve did not reveal an increased yield of MN at the location of the Bragg peak. However, the ratio of mono- to bi-nucleated cells, which indicates inhibition in cell progression, increased at the Bragg peak location. These results confirm the hypothesis that severely damaged cells at the Bragg peak are likely to go through reproduction death.
Wu, H. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Rusek, A. (Brookhaven National Lab. Upton, NY, United States)
Hada, M. (Universities Space Research Association Houston, TX, United States)