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The ultrashort duration of laser-driven multi-MeV ion bursts offers the possibility of radiobiological studies at extremely high dose rates. Employing the TARANIS Terawatt laser at Queen's University, the effect of protonirradiation at MeV-range energies on live cells has been investigated at dose rates exceeding 109 Gy/s as a single exposure. A clonogenic assay showed consistent lethal effects on V-79 live cells, which, even at these dose rates, appear to be in line with previously published results employing conventional sources. A Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) of 1.4±0.2 at 10% survival is estimated from a comparison with a 225 kVp X-ray source.


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