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11 May 2012 Laser-plasma accelerators-based high energy radiation femtochemistry and spatio-temporal radiation biomedicine
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The innovating advent of powerful TW laser sources (~1019 W cm-z) and laser-plasma interactions providing ultra-short relativistic particle beams (electron, proton) in the MeV domain open exciting opportunities for the simultaneous development of high energy radiation femtochemistry (HERF) and ultrafast radiation biomedicine. Femtolysis experiments (Femtosecond radiolysis) of aqueous targets performed with relativistic electron bunches of 2.5-15 MeV give new insights on transient physicochemical events that take place in the prethermal regime of confined ionization tracks. Femtolysis studies emphasize the pre-eminence of ultra-fast quantum effects in the temporal range 10-14 - 10-11 s. The most promising advances of HERF concern the quantification of ultrafast sub-nanometric biomolecular damages (bond weakening and bond breaking) in the radial direction of a relativistic particle beam. Combining ultra-short relativistic particle beams and near-infrared spectroscopic configurations, laser-plasma accelerators based high energy radiation femtochemistry foreshadows the development of real-time radiation chemistry in the prethermal regime of nascent ionisation clusters. These physico-chemical advances would be very useful for future developments in biochemically relevant environments (DNA, proteins) and in more complex biological systems such as living cells. The first investigation of single and multiple irradiation shots performed at high energy level (90 MeV) and very high dose rate, typically 1013 Gy s-1, demonstrates that measurable assessments of immediate and reversible DNA damage can be explored at single cell level. Ultrafast in vivo irradiations would permit the development of bio-nanodosimetry on the time scale of molecular motions, i.e. angstrom or sub-angstrom displacements and open new perspectives in the emerging domain of ultrafast radiation biomedicine such as pulsed radiotherapy.
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Y. A. Gauduel, O. Lundh, M. T. Martin, and V. Malka "Laser-plasma accelerators-based high energy radiation femtochemistry and spatio-temporal radiation biomedicine", Proc. SPIE 8433, Laser Sources and Applications, 843316 (11 May 2012);

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