Radiation and Environmental Biophysics

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 201–209 | Cite as

RBE of quasi-monoenergetic 60 MeV neutron radiation for induction of dicentric chromosomes in human lymphocytes

  • R. NolteEmail author
  • K.-H. Mühlbradt
  • J. P. Meulders
  • G. Stephan
  • M. Haney
  • E. Schmid
Original Paper


The production of dicentric chromosomes in human lymphocytes by high-energy neutron radiation was studied using a quasi-monoenergetic 60 MeV neutron beam. The average yield coefficient \({\mathbf{\ifmmode\expandafter\bar\else\expandafter\=\fi{\alpha }}} \) of the linear dose–response relationship for dicentric chromosomes was measured to be (0.146±0.016) Gy−1. This confirms our earlier observations that above 400 keV, the yield of dicentric chromosomes decreases with increasing neutron energy. Using the linear-quadratic dose–response relationship for dicentric chromosomes established in blood of the same donor for 60Co γ-rays as a reference radiation, an average maximum low-dose RBE (RBEM) of 14±4 for 60 MeV quasi-monoenergetic neutrons with a dose-weighted average energy \( {\ifmmode\expandafter\bar\else\expandafter\=\fi{E}} \)of 41.0 MeV is obtained. A correction procedure was applied, to account for the low-energy continuum of the quasi-monoenergetic spectral neutron distribution, and the yield coefficient α for 60 MeV neutrons was determined from the measured average yield coefficient \( \ifmmode\expandafter\bar\else\expandafter\=\fi{\alpha}\). For α, a value of (0.115±0.026) Gy−1 was obtained corresponding to an RBEM of 11±4. The present experiments extend earlier investigations with monoenergetic neutrons to higher energies.


Neutron Beam Yield Coefficient Dicentric Chromosome Reference Radiation Liquid Scintillation Detector 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank H. Klein for numerous clarifying discussions on this subject. They are grateful to S. Löb for his assistance during the irradiations and to the accelerator staff of UCL for providing the proton beam.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Nolte
    • 1
    Email author
  • K.-H. Mühlbradt
    • 1
  • J. P. Meulders
    • 2
  • G. Stephan
    • 3
  • M. Haney
    • 4
  • E. Schmid
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department 6.4 ‘Ion Accelerator and Reference Radiation Fields’Physikalisch-Technische BundesanstaltBraunschweigGermany
  2. 2.Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)Louvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  3. 3.Federal Office for Radiation ProtectionOberschleissheimGermany
  4. 4.Institute of RadiobiologyGSF-National Research Center for Environment and HealthNeuherbergGermany
  5. 5.Radiobiological InstituteUniversity of MunichMunichGermany
  6. 6.GSF-National Research Center for Environment and HealthInstitute of Radiation ProtectionNeuherbergGermany

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