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The interaction of ionizing radiation with living matter changes its intrinsic structure (breaking of chemical bonds, recombination ...) differently depending onseveral factors:
■ The particle involved
■ The linear energy transfer
■ The density of energy deposition in the medium
■ The total deposited dose.

The cyclotron ARRONAX delivers several types of particles: alpha, deuteron and proton with energies up to 68 MeV.
Dose rates vary between 0.01 and 10 MGy /s allowing us to study and compile data over a wide range of linear energy transfer (LET) and density of energy deposition for each incident ion. These features are unique and complementary to those of other accelerators in France and around the world.

The AX Hall of ARRONAX cyclotron is a room dedicated to experiments. It has several unique features:
■ The ability to irradiate using a horizontal beam or a vertical beam
■ The possibility, in the vertical beam configuration, to perform on-line time lapse microscopy.
■ The possibility to pulse the alpha particle beam (variable inter-pulse duration from 330 ns up to 5 s)

Inside the facility, a cell culture laboratory is present equipped with a PSM, a centrifuge, an incubator, a -80 ° C freezer and various fridges and freezers. A time lapse microscope with controlled atmosphere is available in this room.

Developments in progress:
Innovative tools for dosimetry are being developed:
■ The calibration of the optical density of radiosensitive films (including Gafchromic EBT2) as a function of the dose deposited by alpha particles and deuterons will be studied.

■ A set of collimators and degraders is being developed in order to obtain spatially uniform beam with minimum energy dispersion.

■ A new method for measuring the on-line dose will be implemented based on the measurement of bremsstrahlung emission from the irradiated medium.

■ Implementation of time-lapse microscopy in beam.

Teams involved:
Development of radiobiology at ARRONAX is performed by a group of researchers from several laboratories (ARRONAX, CRCNA, ICO and Subatech).