The MICADO Lab platform is located at the Cadarache site (France).
It consists of an air-conditioned irradiation hall measuring 4 m in width, 35 m in length and 5 m in height, which is able to accommodate experimental equipment suitable for the exposure of different biological models (cell cultures, plants and animals).
Four 137Cs sources are used to irradiate organisms at dose rates ranging from 5 µGy/h to 100 mGy/h
Range of dose rates in MICADO Lab (estimate based on the MCNP code). High dose rate (red > 100 mGy/h), moderate dose rate (green from 1 to 10 mGy/h), low dose rate (blue < 0.1 mGy/h).
The irradiation period of between a few hours and several weeks means that chronic exposure of one or more generations can be carried out.
MICADO Lab has links to a cellular biology laboratory and an analysis platform consisting of physiology, cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry and microscopy laboratories, which are essential for characterising radiation-induced effects at different biological levels.
Animal housing facility
MICADO Lab is also linked to fish and invertebrate breeding facilities. The species routinely used at the Radionuclide Ecotoxicology Laboratory (LECO) are the zebrafish Danio rerio, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the daphnid Daphnia magna.
The first two species are animal models traditionally used in genetics, toxicology and/or evolutionary biology. Their genomes have been fully sequenced and many genetic engineering tools are available; in parallel, their physiology and biology have been completely characterised.
The micro-crustacean Daphnia magna is an omnipresent environmental bioindicator in freshwater and is commonly used in ecotoxicology.