Outer space is an environment characterized by microgravity and space radiation, including high-energy charged particles. Astronauts are constantly exposed to both microgravity and radiation during long-term stays in space. However, many aspects of the biological effects of combined microgravity and space radiation remain unclear. We developed a new three-dimensional (3D) clinostat synchronized heavy-ion irradiation system for use in ground-based studies of the combined exposures. Our new system uses a particle accelerator and a respiratory gating system from heavy-ion radiotherapy to irradiate samples being rotated in the 3D clinostat with carbon-ion beams only when the samples are in the horizontal position. A Peltier module and special sample holder were loaded on a static stage (standing condition) and the 3D clinostat (rotation condition) to maintain a suitable temperature under atmospheric conditions. The performance of the new device was investigated with normal human fibroblasts 1BR-hTERT in a disposable closed cell culture chamber. Live imaging revealed that cellular adhesion and growth were almost the same for the standing control sample and rotation sample over 48 h. Dose flatness and symmetry were judged according to the relative density of Gafchromic films along the X-axis and Y-axis of the positions of the irradiated sample to confirm irradiation accuracy. Doses calculated using the carbon-ion calibration curve were almost the same for standing and rotation conditions, with the difference being less than 5% at 1 Gy carbon-ion irradiation. Our new device can accurately synchronize carbon-ion irradiation and simulated microgravity while maintaining the temperature under atmospheric conditions at ground level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis