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Issue 3, 2017
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Direct electron irradiation of DNA in a fully aqueous environment. Damage determination in combination with Monte Carlo simulations

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Abstract

We report on a study in which plasmid DNA in water was irradiated with 30 keV electrons generated by a scanning electron microscope and passed through a 100 nm thick Si3N4 membrane. The corresponding Monte Carlo simulations suggest that the kinetic energy spectrum of the electrons throughout the water is dominated by low energy electrons (<100 eV). The DNA radiation damage, single-strand breaks (SSBs) and double-strand breaks (DSBs), was determined by gel electrophoresis. The median lethal dose of D1/2 = 1.7 ± 0.3 Gy was found to be much smaller as compared to partially or fully hydrated DNA irradiated under vacuum conditions. The ratio of the DSBs to SSBs was found to be 1 : 12 as compared to 1 : 88 found for hydrated DNA. Our method enables quantitative measurements of radiation damage to biomolecules (DNA, proteins) in solutions under varying conditions (pH, salinity, co-solutes) for an electron energy range which is difficult to probe by standard methods.

Graphical abstract: Direct electron irradiation of DNA in a fully aqueous environment. Damage determination in combination with Monte Carlo simulations

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Nov 2016, accepted on 14 Dec 2016 and first published on 14 Dec 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6CP07707B
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017,19, 1798-1805
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Direct electron irradiation of DNA in a fully aqueous environment. Damage determination in combination with Monte Carlo simulations

    M. B. Hahn, S. Meyer, M. Schröter, H. Seitz, H. Kunte, T. Solomun and H. Sturm, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 1798
    DOI: 10.1039/C6CP07707B

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