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Track structure simulation

Working Group 6.53


This working group is dedicated to develop track structure simulations of ionizing radiation (electrons, hadrons, photons) with the aim to quantify physical radiation damage to the human DNA. The focus is set on the assessment and improvement of calculated track structure parameters. The particle track simulations, performed with the Geant4 system and the in-house developed software PTra, serve as an instrument to investigate DNA damage for clinical radiation fields in diagnostics and radiotherapy.

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Particle track simulations based on the Monte Carlo method require fundamental physical data. The accuracy of those data is directly influencing the simulation results. Hence, the improvement of particle track simulations by updated fundamental data is a main task of this group. These data are obtained by experiments using electron spectrometry. Another research focus is the investigation of the enhanced radiation effects in close proximity to irradiated metallic nanoparticles. Irradiation of such particles in tissue leads to a local dose enhancement as a result of a higher electron production yield.

Spectra of emitted electrons from nanoparticles are measured and compared to simulation results. Furthermore, the stochastically formed track structure of ionizing radiation is characterized on the nanometer scale by suitable parameters (nanodosimetry) in close collaboration with other working groups. The connection of track structure parameters with results of dedicated cell experiments forms the basis for the development of radiobiological models to assess radiation responses of the DNA.

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