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Modeling of the topology of energy deposits created by ionizing radiation on a nanometric scale in cell nuclei in relation to radiation-induced early events

Morgane Dos Santos has defended her thesis on 2nd October 2013 in Fontenay-aux-Roses.

Document type > *Mémoire/HDR/Thesis

Keywords >

Research Unit > IRSN/DRPH/SDE/LDRI

Authors > DOS SANTOS Morgane

Publication Date > 02/10/2013


Ionizing radiations are known to induce critical damages on biological matter and especially on DNA. Among these damages, DNA double strand breaks (DSB) are considered as key precursor of lethal effects of ionizing radiations. Understand and predict how DNA double and simple strand breaks are created by ionising radiation and repaired in cell nucleus is nowadays a major challenge in radiobiology research. This work presents the results on the simulation of the DNA double strand breaks produced from the energy deposited by the irradiation at the intracellular level. At the nanometric scale, the only method to accurately simulate the topological details of energy deposited on the biological matter is the use of Monte Carlo codes. In this work, we used the Geant4 Monte Carlo code and, in particular, the low energy electromagnetic package extensions, referred as Geant4-DNA processes.In order to evaluate DNA radio-induced damages, the first objective of this work consisted in implementing a detailed geometry of the DNA on the Monte Carlo simulations. Two types of cell nuclei, representing a fibroblast and an endothelium, were described in order to evaluate the influence of the DNA density on the topology of the energy deposits contributing to strand breaks. Indeed, the implemented geometry allows the selection of energy transfer points that can lead to strand breaks because they are located on the backbone. Then, these energy transfer points were analysed with a clustering algorithm in order to reveal groups of aggregates and to study their location and complexity.In this work, only the physical interactions of ionizing radiations are simulated. Thus, it is not possible to achieve an absolute number of strand breaks as the creation and transportation of radical species which could lead to indirect DNA damages is not included. Nevertheless, the aim of this work was to evaluate the relative dependence of direct DNA damages with the DNA density, radiation quality, cell nuclei morphology or also chromatin condensation. The results presented in this work have allowed the quantification of the influence of these different parameters in the number and complexity of directs DNA damages which can then contribute to the late effects on cell fate.


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