- Nanolesions induced by heavy ions in human tissues: experimental and theoretical studies (2012)
- The biological effects of energetic heavy ions are attracting increasing interest for their applications in cancer therapy and protection against space radiation. The cascade of events leading to cell death or late effects starts from stochastic energy deposition on the nanometer scale and the corresponding lesions in biological molecules, primarily DNA. We have developed experimental techniques to visualize DNA nanolesions induced by heavy ions. Nanolesions appear in cells as “streaks” which can be visualized by using different DNA repair markers. We have studied the kinetics of repair of these “streaks” also with respect to the chromatin conformation. Initial steps in the modeling of the energy deposition patterns at the micrometer and nanometer scale were made with MCHIT and TRAX models, respectively.
- Quark number scaling in fluid dynamics and hadronization via quarkyonic matter (2011)
- NCQ scaling of elliptic flow is studied in a non-equilibrium hadronization and freeze-out model from ideal, deconfined and chirally symmetric Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP), to final non-interacting hadrons. In this transition the quarks gain constituent quark mass while the background Bag-field breaks up. The constituent quarks then recombine into simplified hadron states, while chemical, thermal and flow equilibrium break down. Then the resulting temperatures and flow velocities of baryons and mesons will be different. In a simplified model, we reproduce the constituent quark number scaling.
- Dynamic enhancement of fluctuation signals at the QCD phase transition (2013)
- We study the impact of nonequilibrium effects on the relevant signals within a chiral fluid dynamics model including explicit propagation of the Polyakov loop. An expanding heat bath of quarks is coupled to the Langevin dynamics of the order parameter fields. The model is able to describe relaxational processes, including critical slowing down and the enhancement of soft modes near the critical point. At the first-order phase transition we observe domain formation and phase coexistence in the sigma and Polyakov loop field leading to a significant amount of clumping in the energy density. This effect gets even more pronounced if we go to systems at finite baryon density. Here the formation of high-density clusters could provide an important observable signal for upcoming experiments at FAIR and NICA.We conclude that improving our understanding of dynamical symmetry breaking is important to give realistic estimates for experimental observables connected to the QCD phase transition.
- Heavy ions and X-rays in brain tumor treatment : a comparison of their biological effects on tissue slice cultures (2009)
- Background: In this interdisciplinary project, the biological effects of heavy ions are compared to those of X-rays using tissue slice culture preparations from rodents and humans. Advantages of this biological model are the conservation of an organotypic environment and the independency from genetic immortalization strategies used to generate cell lines. Its open access allows easy treatment and observation via live-imaging microscopy. Materials and methods: Rat brains and human brain tumor tissue are cut into 300 micro m thick tissue slices. These slices are cultivated using a membrane-based culture system and kept in an incubator at 37°C until treatment. The slices are treated with X-rays at the radiation facility of the University Hospital in Frankfurt at doses of up to 40 Gy. The heavy ion irradiations were performed at the UNILAC facility at GSI with different ions of 11.4 A MeV and fluences ranging from 0.5–10 x 106 particles/cm². Using 3D-confocal microscopy, cell-death and immune cell activation of the irradiated slices are analyzed. Planning of the irradiation experiments is done with simulation programs developed at GSI and FIAS. Results: After receiving a single application of either X-rays or heavy ions, slices were kept in culture for up to 9d post irradiation. DNA damage was visualized using gamma H2AXstaining. Here, a dose-dependent increase and time-dependent decrease could clearly be observed for the X-ray irradiation. Slices irradiated with heavy ions showed less gamma H2AX-positive cells distributed evenly throughout the slice, even though particles were calculated to penetrate only 90–100 micro m into the slice. Conclusions: Single irradiations of brain tissue, even at high doses of 40 Gy, will result neither in tissue damage visible on a macroscopic level nor necrosis. This is in line with the view that the brain is highly radio-resistant. However, DNA damage can be detected very well in tissue slices using gamma H2AX-immuno staining. Thus, slice cultures are an excellent tool to study radiation-induced damage and repair mechanisms in living tissues.
- Clustering in heavy ion collisions : why it could happen and how to observe it? (2008)
- We argue that Clustering in heavy ion collisions could be the missing element in resolving the socalled HBT puzzle, and briefly discuss the different physical situations where clustering could be present. We then propose a method by which clustering in heavy ion collisions could be detectedin a model-independent way.