Author(s): Severin E, Kronholz HL, Khnlein W, Ghde W
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Abstract Very thin material layers (<100 microm) partially absorb ionizing radiation of low energy. When irradiating monolayer cell cultures from above, attention must be paid to absorption by the medium. Frequently, the volume of the nutrient medium is variable, and this leads to differences in the radiation doses delivered to the cells. In the present work these conditions were investigated for x-rays of energies between 13 kV and 100 kV in comparison with 60Co gamma rays using chemical dosimetry to measure the absorption by liquid layers between 25 microm and 500 microm thick. When the dose as measured with the ionization chamber was held constant, the dose absorbed in the Fricke solution was shown to increase with decreasing thickness of the layer of liquid because of a dose gradient. The effect of the dose gradient disappeared, however, in thick liquid layers of the Fricke solution by mixing during spectrophotometry. Secondary (photoeffect and Compton) electrons produced in air or filters are responsible for this effect in plastic petri dishes where back scattering at the interface does not occur. This interpretation is suggested by the same results of an analogous experimental setup using gamma rays with a 5-mm-thick Perspex plate. This dose increase in very thin layers, however, could not be verified by irradiating monolayer cells in poured-out plastic petri dishes because the secondary electrons are already absorbed in the remaining liquid film above the cells.
This article was published in Phys Med Biol
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy