EPJ D Colloquium - Multiscale approach to the physics of radiation damage with ions

Features, processes, and disciplines, associated with radiation therapy shown in a space–time diagram, which shows approximate temporal and spatial scales of the phenomena. The history from ionization/exciation to biological effects on the cellular level are shown in the main figure and features of ion propagation are shown in the inset.

In this EPJ D Colloquium, the authors review the multiscale approach to the assessment of biodamage that results from the irradiation of biological media with ions. This approach is explained in depth and compared to other approaches. The ion propagation processes that take place in the medium concurrent with ionisation and excitation of molecules, transport of secondary products, dynamics of the medium, and biological damage, take place on a number of different temporal, spatial and energy scales. The multiscale approach, a physical phenomenon-based analysis of the scenario that leads to radiation damage, has been designed to consider all relevant effects on a variety of scales and to enable quantitative assessment of biological damage as a result of irradiation with ions.

In this work, physical and chemical effects are included in the scenario while the biological effects, such as DNA repair, are also briefly discussed. The phenomenon of radiation damage due to ions is explained, an overview of its major components is presented, and the multiscale approach is applied to investigate different experimental conditions.

On the basis of this experience, a step-wise guide for the application of the multiscale approach is formulated. The guide culminates in the calculation of relative biological effectiveness.

Pere Roca i Cabarrocas and Daniel Lincot
ISSN: 2105-0716 (Electronic Edition)

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