An ensemble of new techniques to study soft-X-rays-induced variations in cellular metabolism

Turcu E., R. Allot, N. Lisi, D. Batani, F. Bortolotto, A. Masini, M. Milani, M. Ballerini, L. Ferraro, A. Pozzi, F. Previdi, L. Rebonato

An ensemble of new techniques has been developed to study cell metabolism. These include: CO2 production
monitoring, cell irradiation with soft X rays produced with a laser-plasma source, and study of oscillations in cell
metabolic activity via spectral analysis of experimental records. Soft X-rays at about 0.9 keV, with a very low penetration
in biological material, were chosen to produce damages at the metabolic level, without great interference with DNA
activity. The use of a laser-plasma source allowed a fast deposition of high doses. Monitoring of CO2 production allowed
us to measure cell metabolic response immediately after irradiation in a continuous and noninvasive way. Also a simple
model was developed to calculate X-ray doses delivered to the different cell compartments following a Lambert–
Bouguet–Beer law. Results obtained on Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells in experiments performed at Rutherford
Appleton Laboratory are presented.

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