Collaborations

Our faculty interact with and have research collaborations with a wide range of international and national educational institutions, research laboratories, academic leaders in radiological sciences, non-profit organizations, advisory groups and governmental agencies and have served as consultants and advisors for the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements (NCRP), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Center is a member of the International Consortium for Medical Care of Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) and Radiation Life Science organized by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences of Nagasaki University, Japan where it joins other international institutions to promote international collaboration in radiation research and graduate education.

Academic Collaborations

Center for High-Throughput Minimally-Invasive Radiation Biodosimetry

After a large-scale radiological event, there will be a major need to ascertain, within a few days, the radiation doses received by tens or hundreds of thousands of individuals. The Center for Radiological Research leads a Research Consortium tasked with developing practical, high throughput, minimally-invasive radiation dose assessment devices and techniques to meet this need.

Members of the Consortium include Georgetown University, the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, New York University School of Medicine, Translational Genomics Research Institute, and the University of Bern, Switzerland.

We have developed high-throughput systems for using various biomarkers for biodosimetry and are also in the unique position of being able to probe the application of these biomarkers for predicting inter-individual sensitivity to acute radiation syndromes. This will enable us to examine correlations between our high-throughput biomarkers and individual acute radiation sensitivity, and it will enable us to probe the associated mechanisms of individual acute radiation sensitivity. This Consortium represents a multidisciplinary balance between radiation biologists, radiation physicists, radiation chemists, mechanical engineers, software engineers, product development experts, commercial companies in the field, and end users. The three areas we have identified as having the highest potential for high-throughput biodosimetry are cytogenetics, functional genomics, and metabolomics. The Consortium has achieved several milestones including:

  • Developed high-throughput systems for using various biomarkers for biodoismetry.
  • Demonstrated for the 1st time the ability of a single gene set to predict radiation dose over a significant period post-irradiation without individual pre-exposure controls.
  • Demonstrated the potential for a urine-based metabolomics biodosimetry system, with signals increasing in a dose-response manner, and with a signal lifetime of at least several days.

Research is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

For more information, please visit Center for Medical Countermeasures against Radiation (CMCR).

Industrial/Commercial/Biotech Collaborations

ASELL

At ASELL™, we develop and deliver cutting-edge biotechnology solutions to address challenging Government requirements. Our flagship product, the CytoRADx™ Biodosimetry System, leverages proven techniques to provide accurate dose assessment for people who may have been exposed to radiation (0-10 Gray).

Project: Biodosimetry After Radiologic and Nuclear Events

Following a large scale radiological incident within or near a major metropolitan area, large numbers of people may be exposed to ionizing radiation. In response to the incident, there is a need for an FDA-cleared in vitro diagnostic biodosimetry system with the capability to determine level of exposure to ionizing radiation. The CytoRADx system will be validated to respond to that need.

The CytoRADx System is composed of two components; the CytoRADx Assay and the RADxScan Imager. The CytoRADx assay is based on the Cytokinesis Block Micronucleus assay (CBMN) which has been shown to provide effective diagnosis of radiation exposure through the measurement of the rate of micronucleus (MN) formation in peripheral blood cells. The RADxScan imager is an automated microscope that includes all of the hardware and software required to process, image, analyze, and generate results from patient blood samples processed by the CytoRADx assay. The RADxScan is based on the MetaSystems Metafer, a fluorescent system that scans and analyzes DAPI stained microscope slides.

Development of: CytoRADx™ Biodosimetry System

BASED UPON A GOLD STANDARD ASSAY: The CytoRADx™ Assay is based upon the Cytokinesis Block Micronucleus (CBMN) assay, which is a proven and widely accepted approach to performing biodosimetry. This assay provides excellent dose prediction accuracy from 0-10 Gray.

SUPERIOR BIOMARKER STABILITY: The CytoRADx™ biomarkers have been shown to be stable well past two (2) weeks post exposure in multiple studies.

AFFORDABLE: The CytoRADx™ Assay kits are low cost compared to many other biodosimetry approaches and leverage existing equipment and techniques in clinical labs.

Ushio

The Center for Radiological Research has an ongoing partnership with Ushio Inc. to develop far-UVC (Ultraviolet C) technology for wound disinfection. Ushio Inc. is a Japanese-based electronics and lighting company with expertise in manufacturing a variety of light sources.

Ushio Inc. is a major player in the lighting industry with application areas ranging from cinema to scientific to commercial lighting. They are also highly involved in the UV disinfection sector. The company is a supplier of devices for surface disinfection and water disinfection technologies. Before their partnership with the CRR, the Ushio Inc. lamps were not used in bacterial disinfection applications where the light would contact humans.

Excimer light sources are used to produce the far-UVC light being tested for skin disinfection. Ushio Inc. has established excimer lamp technologies, capable of producing wavelengths in the vacuum UV, UVC, and UVB range, but their applications have been geared towards fields such as semiconductor fabrication and manufacturing. In partnership with CRR, excimer lamps manufactured by Ushio, specifically with an output wavelength of 222 nm in the far-UVC range, have been tested for use in disinfection applications. The excimer lamp used for these experiments is shown below. The handheld unit directs the 222 nm far-UVC light towards the targeted area.

The goal of the partnership is to apply far-UVC light to kill bacteria infection without any adverse effects on human skin. Using 222-nm light, research performed at CRR has verified killing of the drug-resistant bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) with no apparent harm to human cells and tissues. Additional studies in vivo have confirmed that 222-nm light prevents MRSA infection of superficial wounds.

Further work by Ushio Inc. has verified wound disinfection of pressure ulcers in human patients. More information on these studies.

The Center for Radiological Research continues to develop this technology with the goal of widespread adoption for disinfection of chronic wounds and surgical sites.

Supporting Publications

1. Germicidal Efficacy and Mammalian Skin Safety of 222-nm UV Light

2. Far-UVC light prevents MRSA infection of superficial wounds in vivo

Eden Park

Eden Park Illumination (edenpark.com) has been working with the Center for Radiological Research to develop and test microplasma excimer lamps for use in far-UVC disinfection projects. A Phase I STTR was awarded in 2016 to support the work.

Eden Park Illumination, based in Champaign, IL, has been developing its patented microplasma lamps for production of ultraviolet light for a variety of wavelengths and applications. Current applications include material analysis, water treatment, and medical disinfection. The microplasma technology can be used with different gases to produce different wavelengths ranging from the vacuum UV through UVC and UVB. The unique features of the Eden Park Illumination lamps, such as long lifetime, thin and flat profile, and high power output, make the lamps a good choice for many applications. The Kr-Cl (Krypton-Chlorine) excimer microplasma lamp, which emits primarily at 222 nm, is ideal for far-UVC disinfection applications.

The microplasma lamps from Eden Park have been tested at the Center for Radiological Research for disinfection of room air from pathogens such as influenza virus A (H1N1) using a custom-made benchtop aerosol irradiation chamber developed at the Center for Radiological Research and showed promising results(1).

Research on the use of microplasma lamps for disinfection applications continues with the goal of increasing both the output power and the size of the illumination field.

Supporting Publications

1. Far-UVC light: A new tool to control the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases