On the Equivalence of the Biological Effect Induced by Irradiation of Clusters of Heavy Atom Nanoparticles and Homogeneous Heavy Atom-Water Mixtures

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A multiscale local effect model (LEM)-based framework was implemented to study the cell damage caused by the irradiation of clusters of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) under clinically relevant conditions. The results were compared with those obtained by a homogeneous mixture of water and gold (MixNP) irradiated under similar conditions. To that end, Monte Carlo simulations were performed for the irradiation of GNP clusters of different sizes and MixNPs with a 6 MV Linac spectrum to calculate the dose enhancement factor in water. The capabilities of our framework for the prediction of cell damage trends are examined and discussed. We found that the difference of the main parameter driving the cell damage between a cluster of GNPs and the MixNP was less than 1.6% for all cluster sizes. Our results demonstrate for the first time a simple route to intuit the radiobiological effects of clusters of nanoparticles through the consideration of an equivalent homogenous gold/water mixture. Furthermore, the negligible difference on cell damage between a cluster of GNPs and MixNP simplifies the modelling for the complex geometries of nanoparticle aggregations and saves computational resources.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number2034
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021