PMID: 11754646Jan 5, 2002

Distributions of specific energy in sensitive layers of the human respiratory tract

Radiation Research
D Nikezic, K N Yu


The purpose of the present work was to calculate the specific energy distribution in sensitive cells of the human lung. Specific energy distributions were calculated by applying Monte Carlo methods and the ICRP 66 model of the human respiratory tract. Specific energies were calculated at various depths in the epithelium and combined according to the relative cell abundance. Distributions are given for various combinations of sources, alpha-particle energies, targets and regions of the lung. The chord length does not follow the triangular distribution when the particle range is comparable to the diameter of the target. The notion of "effective volume" is introduced and defined, which is needed for estimation of hit frequency in some particular targets. It has been shown that basal cells are subjected to a larger proportion of alpha-particle hits with small energy transfer than secretory cells. Small energy transfer events that lead to minor damage of the DNA are more efficient in cancer induction than are hits with large energy deposition that lead to cell killing.


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Apr 10, 2003·Radiation and Environmental Biophysics·D Nikezic, K N Yu
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Related Concepts

Alpha Radiation
Lobar Bronchus Structure
Cell Nucleus
Cell Survival
Epithelial Cells
Monte Carlo Method
Gray Units
Radiation Tolerance
Respiratory Tract Structure

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