Publication Details

Fuss, M. C., Ellis-Gibbings, L., Jones, D. B., Brunger, M. J., Blanco, F., Muñoz, A., Limao-Vieira, P. & García, G. (2015). The role of pyrimidine and water as underlying molecular constituents for describing radiation damage in living tissue: A comparative study. Journal of Applied Physics, 117 (21), 214701-1-214701-8.


Water is often used as the medium for characterizing the effects of radiation on living tissue. However, in this study, charged-particle track simulations are employed to quantify the induced physicochemical and potential biological implications when a primary ionising particle with energy 10 keV strikes a medium made up entirely of water or pyrimidine. Note that pyrimidine was chosen as the DNA/RNA bases cytosine, thymine, and uracil can be considered pyrimidine derivatives. This study aims to assess the influence of the choice of medium on the charged-particle transport, and identify how appropriate it is to use water as the default medium to describe the effects of ionising radiation on living tissue. Based on the respective electron interaction cross sections, we provide a model, which allows the study of radiation effects not only in terms of energy deposition (absorbed dose and stopping power) but also in terms of the number of induced molecular processes. Results of these parameters for water and pyrimidine are presented and compared.



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