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23. See supplementary material at for details on film dosimetry, proton transport simulations, and the irradiation setup and cell handling. [Supplementary Material]

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Ion beams are relevant for radiobiological studies and for tumor therapy. In contrast to conventional accelerators, laser-driven ion acceleration offers a potentially more compact and cost-effective means of delivering ions for radiotherapy. Here, we show that by combining advanced acceleration using nanometer thin targets and beam transport, truly nanosecond quasi-monoenergetic proton bunches can be generated with a table-top laser system, delivering single shot doses up to 7 Gy to living cells. Although in their infancy, laser-ion accelerators allow studying fast radiobiological processes as demonstrated here by measurements of the relative biological effectiveness of nanosecond proton bunches in human tumor cells.


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