Holland PTC rebuilt a microscope setup that exposes biological specimens to a proton beam to study them. They were able to do this thanks to the Open Mind grant from Convergence for Health and Technology.
The microscope, from the Erasmus MC CoFa OIC, was tilted relative to the proton beam in such a way that is not only possible to irradiate the cells without damaging the microscope but also to perform absolute dosimetry. The cells can now be monitored before, during and after irradiation and their response depending on dose delivered and dose rate can be studied. The setup can be moved into and out of the beam line so that different experiments can be performed.
Holland PTC performed a first experiment as a proof of concept, dosimetry has been performed and cells have been irradiated. Soon experiments will start to investigate the DNA damage response after proton irradiation in living cells. This project merges expertise from Core Facility Erasmus Optical Imaging Center, Holland Proton Therapy Centre and TU Delft.