A Compact Soft X-Ray Microbeam Facility for Small Laboratories
Small Business Information
ENERGETIQ TECHNOLOGY, INC.
ENERGETIQ TECHNOLOGY, INC., 7 CONSTITUTION WAY, WOBURN, MA, 01801
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): A Compact Soft X-Ray Microbeam Facility for Small Laboratories: Radiation due natural and manmade sources is ubiquitous; research into its effects -- both harmful and beneficial -- is a major component of the mission of the NIH and related health agencies. Radiobiological microbeams are facilities able to deliver precise radiation insults to individual cells (or parts of them) and to assess their biological response; developments and discoveries based on this technique (see Bibliography for extensive references) have led to significant advances in our understanding of the detailed mechanisms of radiation damage and cellular response to such damage. Currently, microbeam facilities require large particle accelerators or synchrotron sources, placing them out of reach of smaller laboratories. The microbeam facility to be developed and commercialized within this Fast-Track program combines a compact soft X-ray source with a modern and flexible endstation. Energetiq Technology, Inc. has developed a novel light source technology -- an electrodeless z-pinch xenon plasma source, originally for use in the semiconductor fabrication industry at 13.5nm wavelength (92 eV), that could provide a source of soft x-rays to enable a lab-scale microbeam research facility. The cost and size of the facility would be comparable to an electron microscope. To develop the microbeam source, the photon energy will be raised to the 1 KeV to 3 KeV range by exploiting optical transitions in helium-like systems such as neon 8+ and argon 16+. Options for X-ray optics such as focusing capillaries and grazing incidence collectors will be assessed as alternatives to expensive and fragile zone plates. The project involves a major collaboration with the Columbia University Radiological Research Accelerator Facility (RARAF). They will develop the endstation, including optical microscopy, micro-positioning hardware, dose metrology, controls and the user interface. The integrated product will be installed at RARAF in the last phase of the program. Understanding the effects of ionizing radiation at all size scales and a variety of dose rates has for decades been a major area of medical and biological research. Precisely focused radiation -- microbeams -- directed at individual cells, and advances in imaging technology such as the ability to study individual damaged DNA strands, combine to provide a uniquely powerful (but typically large and expensive) research tool. Our goal is to develop and market A Compact Soft X-Ray Microbeam Facility for Small Laboratories.
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