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Phase effects in radiation action

Working Group 6.51


The working group investigates the response of biological molecules to ionizing radiation. The aim is to provide fundamental interaction cross sections that are essential input data for radiobiological models and for the optimization of therapy planning. Furthermore, radiation induced damage to biological macromolecules is directly detected and compared to the results of radiobiological model calculations.

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The working group develops experimental and theoretical methods for the quantification of radiation effects in biological medium. A particular focus is the investigation of phase effects, i. e. the possible dependence of the radiation response on the aggregate state of the medium. At the molecular level, fundamental interaction cross sections between ionizing radiation and biological systems are determined, which are of importance for the calculation of the track structure in tissue and consequently, of the biological effectiveness. Radiation induced damages at the subcellular level are directly detected by means of impedance spectroscopy of DNA and quantified in connection with molecular dynamics calculations. At the macroscopic level, the stopping powers of water and different tissues for hadrons with energies in the Bragg peak area are experimentally determined. They play an important role in the optimization of the biological effects in therapy planning.

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